Chicago practitioners of Psychodrama & Sociometry

Dr. Elaine Ades Sachnoff, Ph.D., T.E.P.

Dr. Elaine Ades Sachnoff PhD, TEP is the founder and director of the Psychodrama Training Institute of Chicago. She is a Clinical Psychologist and a TEP certified by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Group Psychotherapy & Sociometry, and consults with hospitals and universities in the Chicago area. She is also the author of The Warm Up Book and numerous research publications. 


Lorelei J. Goldman, MA, TEP trained exclusively with Dr. Elaine Sachnoff and Zerka Moreno.  She continues the work of Psychodrama every first and third Tuesday of the month at the Unitarian Church located at 1330 Ridge, Evanston, IL. in classroom 7.    Participants train and profit from personal growth.  She has trained internationally and locally.  She has published in Beyond Behavior and Elementary English journal.  Currently, she is focusing on workshops with the elderly and will be facilitating Psychodrama with people who are challenged with memory loss.  


John Rasberry, LMFT, TEP is one of the principal co-creators of the Mid-South Center for Psychodrama and Sociometry. He is a Certified Trainer, Educator, Practitioner T.E.P. in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy, as awarded by The American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. He is also licensed by the State of Mississippi as a Marriage and Family Therapist. John holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Rehabilitation Services and Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. He obtained a Masters of Education in Community Counseling from the University of Mississippi.

John is a member of the Mississippi Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He also is active as a Fellow and past President of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. John was the 2011 recipient of the Hannah B. Weiner award by the A.S.G.P.P.

Professionally, John has worked with many different mental and emotional conditions. Included are Chemical Dependency, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Trauma, Relationship Issues, Eating Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, and Adjustment Disorders.

Initially trained in client-centered counseling, John developed interests and expertise in experiential therapy, which led him to his study and use of Psychodrama and Sociometry. John is known for his belief in and adherence to classic Psychodrama and Sociometry.


Dr. Lakin-Starr is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a certified psychodramatist. She is the founder of the Chicago Center for Psychodrama and offers trainings and workshops to hospitals and mental health centers across Chicago.

Dr. Lakin-Starr also treats children, families, and adults in her role as the cofounder of the Chicago Center for Growth and Change, a therapy practice in Chicago. She has been using psychodrama as a therapeutic tool for the last 7 years in both individual and group therapy. 

Dr. Lakin-Starr previously worked for 7 years as a staff psychologist at Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Services where she provided supervision and didactic instruction for the clinical psychology training program. For five and a half years, she led psychodrama therapy groups for adults struggling with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and trauma. She also led psychodrama groups for individuals with chronic mental illness. 

 In 2015, she created the Psychodrama Training Track at Illinois Masonic Medical Center's Behavioral Health Services to allow practicum students to gain specific skills and experiences in psychodrama. She was also a guest on Dr. Zachary Friedman’s podcast, The 50 Minute Hour, a therapy podcast for lay people, where they discussed psychodrama, its benefits, and how it works. 

Dr. Lakin-Starr has worked in a variety of settings and has helped adults and children in medical centers, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, children’s hospitals, community mental health centers and college counseling centers. 

Dr. Lakin-Starr has also taught many undergraduate psychology classes as adjunct faculty at Loyola University and is a frequent guest lecturer at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. 

Peg became a Certified Practitioner of Psychodrama in the Spring of 2017. She directs a monthly group of patients with HIV-Aids at the UIC Medical College Community Clinic off Taylor St. in Chicago, IL with Sharon Steckler, LCSW.

As an LBS1 Certified Special Education Resource Teacher for elementary and high school students in Chicago, Illinois, in the northwest suburbs, and in the state of Vermont for a total of 34 years. In Vermont, Peg directed an elementary drama club for her students with Dyslexia and Emotional Behavioral Disabilities, two of the 13 disabilities provided for in IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the civil rights law for children passed by Congress in 1975. As the arts residencies teacher, she brought performers from all over the world to live in the community and teach visual and performing arts to students for a day or a week. Research shows that the performing and visual arts positively affect academic performance. Peg began her study of Psychodrama with Herb Propper, PhD in Theater at Johnson State College.  She directed young students in finding and using their various life roles to problem solve in school and life.

In community organizing with The People’s Lobby and Reclaim Chicago to pass legislation that helps families and workers and elect progressive candidates to every level of government, Peg’s base uses power roles to hold electeds accountable. Our local, county, and state campaign for an increased minimum wage has increased the quality of life for folks in 25 suburbs.

Advanced students of psychodrama & sociometry on the certification track currently in psychodrama supervision.

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Shelley Firestone, MD, CGP, FAGPA is a psychotherapist and psychiatrist with thirty-five years experience working with adults, adolescents and children, in individual, family, couple and group psychotherapy.  She is the the winner of the Zerka T. Moreno Award (2016) from the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago, and a presenter for the Illinois Group Psychotherapy Society, the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA), and the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP).  She is also a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).  Her professional contributions to multiple organizations and journals reflect her passion for psychodrama, group psychotherapy and recovery.

Sue Parcell, ATR-BC, LCPC


Sue Parcell, ATR-BC, LCPC  works with individuals and groups at Advocate Illinois Masonic BHS; she specializes in art therapy (board certified); CBT; DBT; meditation; psycho-biologically oriented psychodynamic approaches; treatment of ADD, anxiety, bipolar, depression and schizophrenia.

Kate Merkle MSW, MPH, RD, LDN, CDWF is an anti-diet registered dietitian and public health educator specializing in eating disorder recovery and general well being. She is an advanced student of psychodrama and regularly hosts open demonstrations for the Chicago community.

To learn more about Kate visit:

“There is no such thing as a difficult client, just an inadequate warm-up.” J.L. Moreno, MD