Bay Area Moreno Institute


San Francisco Bay Area, CA


Phone: (415) 454 7308

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Sylvia Israel, TEP, LMFT, RDT/BCT is a certified Trainer, Educator and Practitioner in Psychodrama, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Registered Drama Therapist/Board Certified Trainer. She is Founder/Director of IMAGINE! Center for Creativity and Healing and Founder/past-Director of the Bay Area Playback Theatre. In addition, Sylvia is Adjunct Faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and Kansas State University and has taught at various universities including Sonoma State, Dominican and John F. Kennedy. She is a Certified Trainer in the Therapeutic Spiral Model for working with Trauma Survivors and is trained in Somatic Attachment Therapy and IMAGO couples counselling. Sylvia is past-President of the Northern California Chapter of the National Association of Drama Therapy (NADT) and a Fellow of the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP).

Sylvia has been in private practice for over 25 years in Marin and San Francisco working with individuals, couples, and families. She has presented at numerous conferences across the county, locally at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and various community organizations, in addition to internationally in Peru and the Ukraine. Her workshops and trainings cover a variety of topics including: The Journey of Living and Dying, Steps to Forgiveness, Abundance—Deprivation: The Deep Psychology of Money, Cultivating Wisdom in Everyday Life, and Mindfulness/Loving-kindness in Action. Sylvia has been a consultant with Trial Lawyers and has worked with children of Holocaust survivors with Healing the Wounds of History with Armand Volkas. Also, she has worked in various settings including psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse facilities, and health care organizations.

From her professional and personal experience, Sylvia has seen that the essence of healing work is accepting ourselves fully, the parts or roles that we like, as well as those that we wish were otherwise. She believes that developing self-compassion opens us up to new ways of being. Sylvia enjoys supporting others in this journey through identifying and accessing strengths, calling on ancestors, and healing childhood wounds. In all of her work, she skillfully and creatively draws from the various expressive arts therapies.
For more information about Sylvia and her work, please visit

Sylvia was the Featured Theraputic Spiral Model Trainer (June 2016)
To read more about her work with Therapeutic Spiral Model of Psychodrama working with trauma in the TSI newsletter.
Adobe Acrobat document [557.9 KB]

John Olesen, MA, TEP, A Psychodrama Trainer, John is dedicated to healing through experiential learning. He a founding member of the Bay Area Moreno Institute and a long-term member of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. John teaches at the Interpersonal Neurobiology, Somatics and Action Methods Certificate Program at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


He has been involved with helping people since the AIDS epidemic the mid-1980's. He has worked in hospice, HIV prevention and health promotion and has been a facilitator for Positive Being for the last 6 years. For 12 years John was the Clinical Supervisor of the LIFE Program at Shanti in San Francisco. The Shanti Model of Support, which is both a philosophy and set of techniques, is a way of being with another person that frees both parties to be fully who they are and communicate their feelings to one another. Ultimately, this co-creative work leads to increased self-awareness, relief from suffering, and engagement in more meaningful relationships with others.

Regina Moreno, has taught for 47 years in Colorado, Canada, New York and California. She has been using Sociodrama, Role Training and Sociometric Choice techniques with elementary, middle school, high school and college level students. She is presently working as an independent consultant training teachers and administrators in the use of role play and conflict resolution strategies as a way of dealing with student conflicts and bullying issues. Regina recently conducted workshops in Suzhou, China on the use of Sociodrama in understanding the bully, bystander, victim dynamic.

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