F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)


JUST WHAT IS THE 3 SISTERS, LLP?

The 3 Sisters, LLP is a partnership created by Joane Garcia Colson, Fredilyn Sison and Mary Peckham to help people, particularly trial lawyers, realize their full potential. We have a desire to teach and to do so in an environment that is non-competitive and collaborative. Caring, compassion and co-creation are our guiding principles. Helping others realize their full potential, find their own voice and grow as people shape our ideas and program offerings.


HOW DID THE 3 SISTERS MEET?

The three of us met ten years ago when we were part of an organization that provides continuing legal education programs to trial lawyers. Through this experience, we were exposed to psychodrama. Psychodrama can be defined as the science that explores the truth through dramatic action. It is a therapeutic method that gives participants the opportunity to explore events from their lives to gain greater understanding of the self and to begin to heal old wounds. Psychodrama also empowers those who experience it to become more fully present in the here and now, enjoy greater spontaneity, realize their own potential, and create the life they each want to lead.

Over the years, each of us dedicated ourselves to doing as much of our own personal work as possible so that we can better know who we are, how we came to be that way and what we can do to shape our future. The more we know ourselves, the more we can understand others.


WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE IN TRAINING LAWYERS?

Over the last twelve years, we have shared our skill and knowledge of psychodrama with other lawyers across the country and helped them to discover and learn to use the tools of this powerful method to represent their clients. We have exposed them to ideas and techniques that can assist them both in preparing and presenting their clients’ stories at trial. Teaching at various workshops improved our skill and stimulated our creativity. These experiences also increased our desire to develop our skill and proficiency in using the psychodramatic method to help others.

Eventually, we embarked on the path to become certified psychodramatists. After years of study, numerous hours of personal exploration, and passing both a rigorous written and practical examination, each of us was certified as a practitioner (CP) of psychodrama by the American Board of Examiners. Two of us have continued our training and hope to soon be certified as trainers (TEP’s).

Psychodrama continues to help us each individually and provides many tools we call upon and employ both personally and professionally.  To say that our lives have been enhanced as a result of our exposure to psychodrama would be an understatement.


WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST SEMINAR AS THE 3 SISTERS, LLP AND WHY DID YOU CREATE IT?

In the mid 2000’s, we began to brainstorm ideas for working together, for taking our creative ideas and sharing them with others. As we grew as people, our ideas grew.   We ourselves and other women trial lawyers we have spoken with often feel invisible at seminars and workshops. Issues unique to women are rarely acknowledged, much less addressed with any sort of depth or understanding. There are few female role models for the woman trial lawyer. Time and again women students and colleagues complained to us about how disenfranchised they feel. And so, we conceived the idea of a program where women could come together to work on issues unique to them and to meet and build relationships with other female trial lawyers.

In the late summer of 2009, a couple of us began talking about making our idea of creating a program specifically for women trial lawyers a reality. Many female trial lawyers we worked with over the years expressed a desire to have a place where they could come together and explore the issues they struggle with in the courtroom. They wanted to work on trial skills with other women and learn from each other how to tackle various challenging issues that were unique to them. Our concept was to develop and design a program to nurture female trial lawyers and help them develop their own voice, recognize their unique talents as women and bring them into the courtroom. In September 2009, the three of us, along with another dear friend, met for a weekend in the mountains of Colorado. We brainstormed and outlined our ideas for a Women’s Trial Boot Camp and other programs for all trial lawyers, male and female. A few months later, the 3 Sisters, LLP was born.


ARE YOUR PROGRAMS JUST FOR WOMEN?

NO! After a successful Women’s Trial Boot Camp in May, 2010, we decided to create other programs with the same mission in mind.  We also wanted to invite other teachers that we enjoyed working with in the past and whom we believe share the same thoughts, ideas and feelings about teaching (Lynne Bratcher, Carl Bettinger and Charlie Abourezk).

We did not and do not intend to be a traditional provider of programs for trial lawyers. Nor are our programs solely for women. Our ideas, beliefs and vision are much broader. And men are more than welcome at all of our programs, with the exception of the Women’s Trial Boot Camp.


WHAT IS A 3 SISTERS PROGRAM LIKE?

At the 3 Sisters’ programs, there are few lectures and the learning is meant to be interactive and action oriented.   New ideas and cutting edge techniques are constantly being developed and implemented in our teaching.  Learning is by doing. Our seminars are small and intimate. We limit the number of participants so that each attendee gets the opportunity to work and practice the skills being taught. We want participants to leave our programs with tools they can use immediately. Our mission statement reads:

The 3 Sisters are dedicated to helping people recognize and use
their full potential employing various modalities such as
psychodrama, sociometry, improvisation, story telling,
Playback Theater, and other cutting-edge communication
methods. We are committed to high ideals, particularly truth,
justice and integrity. We pride ourselves in being innovators.
Our guiding principle is to be open, attentive and responsive to
our clients.

Creativity fuels us and drives our plans for the future. We want to share with others and to provide them with the tools of various modalities we have experienced and benefited from. We strive to listen to those who attend our workshops, as well as those we meet and interact with on a daily basis, and develop future programs to meet their needs. If a group we are working with collectively want or need something different than what we have planned, we have no problem dumping our ideas or program and/or adapting it to meet the needs of the group. We are also happy and willing to work with and develop programs for specific groups. This spontaneity breathes life into our participants and stimulates their growth and creativity, giving them the freedom to find their own voice and realize their full potential. But working with trial lawyers is just the beginning.

It has been our observation that over the years we have become disconnected as human beings. Technology, designed to make our lives easier and more efficient, often results in isolation and little human interaction. Face-to-face connections we used to make with others have been replaced by Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Linkedin and other social networking sites. We send emails instead of conversing in person or on the telephone.
Human beings need human contact and interaction. We need to connect with others and to feel. We need to hear, witness and validate our human experiences and those of our fellow man. Another important component of our work and a goal of the 3 Sisters, is to validate each person we come into contact with, to listen to their stories, to emphasize human connection, and to provide an environment and community where all are valued.
The 3 Sisters, LLP is in its infancy. We are filled with excitement and enthusiasm and love sharing with and helping others. Above all else we value truth, justice and integrity. We want to give back to the world and help all those with whom we come into contact grow, if even a little, and begin their journey on the path to realizing their full potential.


DO YOU HAVE ANY FUTURE PROGRAMS PLANNED?

Yes. We have four (4) programs planned for 2011:

Space is limited for each program. We have negotiated discounted room rates at the host hotels in each city. Details about all of our programs and testimonials from participants can be found on our web site at http://www.the3sisters.org. When you visit our web site you can also sign up to receive email communications about these and future programs.


DO YOU HAVE ANY WRITTEN MATERIALS ABOUT PSYCHODRAMA FOR LAWYERS?

As part of our goal of sharing and empowering others to meet their full potential, we have recently written a book titled: Trial In Action: The Persuasive Power of Psychodrama published by Trial Guides. (www.trialguides.com.) Up until this publication, most texts on the subject of psychodrama were geared toward mental health professionals. It would have been helpful to us in our training to have a book that served both as a resource and guide to psychodrama for trial lawyers. We would have liked a manual that clearly defined some of the most commonly used techniques and explained how they apply to the various components of trial. We have attempted to create that resource with this book.


WHAT IS TRIAL IN ACTION ABOUT?

Trial In Action is a step-by-step manual that will help lawyers who are new to psychodrama learn the basic techniques and will help lawyers familiar with the method improve their skills. Beginning with the history of psychodrama in law, moving to the various techniques used in and out of the trial setting, and ending with true-life examples, this book provides not only a primer but also a valuable resource for the trial lawyer. Each instructional chapter gives a how to, followed by an example, and finishes with an exercise the reader can try out. From voir dire to closing argument, this book will help all practitioners, civil and criminal, become familiar with a method that is both effective and creative.


WHAT IS PSYCHODRAMA?

Psychodrama is an action method, a method of communication and a role-playing modality. It is the exploration of the truth through dramatic action. It is a powerful method that not only brings out the humanity of people, but also the universal stories and truths that connect us all. In a psychodrama, participants dramatize or act out events from their lives as a spontaneous play, typically in a group setting. The main actor, called the protagonist or star, literally acts out the event that the group is exploring. A psychodrama is a three-dimensional spontaneous re-enactment presented in the moment with no script or rehearsal. The purpose is to gain insight or understanding of yourself or significant others that you can only achieve in action.


WHY SHOULD LAWYERS USE PSYCHODRAMA?

The tools of this method help trial lawyers and their clients communicate with each other more effectively. Through the use of psychodrama, lawyers are better able to discover and explore their clients’ stories and to present them in 3D – so that the jury hears, sees and most importantly, feels the story.

What happens to the client that leads to legal action is a meaningful experience in that client’s life. If a protagonist can re-enact a meaningful experience on the psychodrama stage, so can a client in preparing for trial. The client can use psychodrama to educate his lawyer about what happened to him, how it has affected his life, and perhaps more importantly, who he is. At the same time, re-enacting the client’s meaningful experience enhances the lawyer’s ability to share the client’s story with the jury in the courtroom in a much more powerful, human, and effective way.

Lawyers who become versed in psychodrama effectively use the same tools when they prepare their client and case for trial, as well as when they present the case. Not only have they found greater success in the courtroom, they have gained greater satisfaction in the practice of law. Additionally, they have better and
richer relationships with their clients.

Psychodrama is not, however, a short-cut or a formula for success. Those lawyers who have achieved the greatest results in using this method have committed themselves to personal exploration and the development of skill in using the tools of psychodrama.


WHAT IS SOCIOMETRY?

Sociometry is a classificatory science that inquires into the evolution and organization of groups and the position of individuals within them. It is the study and measurement of human relationships within groups and deals with the nature, quality, and quantity of human connection. It is a way to measure people’s connectedness. Sociometry aims to determine the basic structure of human societies; discloses the affinities, attractions, and repulsions between people. It makes invisible relationships visible and the covert overt. Sociometric methods are a synthesis of subjective and objective methods of investigation. A sociometric experiment in situ brings into realization in an unprecedented degree:

  • The autonomy of the individual characters.
  • Their observation and evaluation by others.
  • Measurement of the subjective and objective aspects of their behavior
  • Autonomy of individual groups and the interactions between them.


WHAT IS PLAYBACK THEATER?

Playback Theater is an original form of improvisational theater in which audience or group members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot. In a playback event, someone in the audience tells a moment or story from their life, chooses the actors to play the different roles, and then all those present watch the enactment, as the story “comes to life” with artistic shape and nuance. The re-creation of stories is often non-naturalistic; actors often use metaphor, narration, chorus, genre, movement, and song.


WHAT IS SOCIODRAMA?

Sociodrama is a group centered process that aims at clarifying group themes rather than focusing on a specific person’s problems (psychodrama). It is an action method that deals with intergroup relations and collective ideologies. The participants act out agreed-upon social situations spontaneously to develop understanding of themselves and others and to expand roles. The group, not the leader, determines what the sociodramatic action will be. Aims at social, not personal catharsis.


HOW CAN I GET INFORMATION ABOUT FUTURE PROGRAMS?

You can join our mailing list and receive periodic emails about upcoming programs or products.


WHAT IF I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about us, our programs, psychodrama and how we can help you. Feel free to contact us at info@the3sisters.org with your additional questions.

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