Elections USA – What will happen?

Of all the events in the world I think this election in the USA is a climactic point of a long build up, not just for the US but the world. What happens within the Democratic party is more important then what happens between the parties.

Right now Sanders has a strong emphasis on moving the Democratic party to the left.

One outcome is that there will be some partial and wishy-washy gains in the non-binding platform.  Based on that Bernie will endorse Hillary and the decline will continue. Post election Sanders movement will decline. The democratic party will still be owned by the billionaire class. The progressive movement will feel even more defeated than after Obama’s “hope and change” fizzed.  So many Marxists dismiss Sanders, because they they see this as the likely outcome.  It is certainly the outcome pushed by the old media.  They talk as if it is all over.

Or the fight for progress in the “party” will not satisfy Bernie or the million followers out on the streets. Hillary “won” the primaries, so Sanders becomes a splitter and spoiler in the eyes of the Dems and the media. Brutal as that criticism is Bernie nor his followers are fazed.  The struggle goes on.  Shifting the Democratic party is a tactic, just like running for president is a tactic, if these fail then we need a new one. What is the next step in that struggle?  It is too early to see. As Sanders has made clear, this is not about Bernie, or the two horse race. It is about the people making a political revolution and he pushes for the struggle to go on. (To get the feel of this don’t read the old media, only his speeches make this clear.)

I’m betting the rest of the year will look more like the second option than the first, I can’t see a sell-out coming, I’d hate to see one.  The USA, and the world is in the action phase of this drama.  What form will it take? Anger and crisis run deep. Something is coming to a head.


Tuesday, 19 July, 2016

Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of HRC looks like a sell-out step. Yet it may still be a tactic. I hate watching. Like sailing too close to a reef to win a race. Even if it isn’t a sell-out, it looks so much like one that it will have the effect of one … Unless Sanders can undo that perception fast, maybe at the DNC?

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First psychodrama was also marital therapy

In a section of his his book (2014) “Spontaneity Drama to Save a Marriage”, John Nolte tells the story of two actors Barbara and George who were also married. Moreno asked them to take on roles that were related to their real life, and noted the therapeutic effect.

It was in this way that Moreno first experimented with the techniques of spontaneous drama to treat emotional problems. Years before the notion of marital or family therapy became commonplace in mainstream mental health practice, Moreno had demonstrated the use of spontaneity techniques to restore equilibrium to the relationship of a husband and wife.


Nolte, J. (2014). The philosophy, theory and methods of J. L. Moreno: The man who tried to become god. United Kingdom: Routledge.

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Jacob Moreno’s Great Idea

Of course he had more than one. He is best known for psychodrama and psychodrama is only possible because it is built on many great ideas.  But what if there was only one idea?

Here is one of Moreno’s great ideas:  therapeutic tele.

OK, I imagine you are thinking that therapeutic tele refers to the client therapist relationship.

The importance of therapist/client connection has increasingly been well recognised. There has been research to confirm the obvious. See, for example, this quote from a classic study:

…the patients who had successful outcomes appeared more willing and able to have a meaningful relationship with the therapist. The patients who did not improve in therapy did not relate well to the therapist and kept the interaction superficial.

Assay and Lambert 1999

So was Moreno there first as always?

Not so fast, therapeutic tele is almost the exact opposite of the therapist/client relationship:

Moreno saw the power of relationships from a different angle. The therapists…

… cherished the notion that the psychiatrist alone is the healer, that all the therapeutic tele derives from him and nowhere else is so concentrated and effective. However, sociometric studies revealed to me that a great deal of the therapeutic tele is distributed over the community and that the question was only to make it effective and to guide it into the proper channels. … The chief psychiatrist had to be put out of action to be removed from the scene; he became an auxiliary ego at a distance. His function reduced itself to deciding who might be the best therapeutic agent to whom, and aid in the picking of these agents. … He had lost all the insignia of all-mightiness, of personal magnetism, and status of counsel. The face-to-face physician had become a physician at a distance. He adjusted his function to the dynamics of a tele world.

(Moreno 1977:242-243)

Key ideas:

  • “therapeutic tele is distributed over the community and that the question was only to make it effective and to guide it into the proper channels.”
  • The therapist becomes “an auxiliary ego at a distance”

Therapeutic tele is not evenly distributed.

To make it effective and guide it we need sociometry, to see the social and cultural atom.

By the measure of love, hate, influence, power, significance the most potent therapeutic tele is in the marriage or other loving committed relationship.

Therapeutic tele is a great idea, it changes everything.  That is why we have group therapy, and interpersonal relationship therapy.

That is why I do Psychodramatic Relationship Therapy Training


Assay, T. P., & Lambert, M. J. (1999). The Empirical Care for the Common factors in Therapy: Quantitative Findings. In M. A. Hubble, B. . Duncan, & S. D. Miller (Eds.), The Heart & Soul of Change: What Works in Therapy (pp. 23 –54). Washington DC

Moreno, J. L. (1977). Psychodrama Volume One (Fourth ed.) Beacon, New York: Beacon House.

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Psychodramatic Relationship Therapy Training

This is the next workshop for relationship therapy training I will be conducting.

Psychodramatic Relationship Therapy

A training weekend with Walter Logeman

19­-20­-21 August 2016

You will witness, learn and actively apply psychodramatic methods to facilitate healing encounters. Gain familiarity with Jacob Moreno’s methods and philosophy to guide your work with couples and other significant relationships. Other modalities will be referenced to enrich psychodramatic work. The workshop involves a high level of participation, practice and sharing.

The workshop is suitable for:

  • psychodrama practitioners and trainees
  • therapists trained in other modalities of couple therapy who wish to enrich and sharpen their work
  • people new to couple therapy who can use the training as a starting point
  • therapists who work with individuals can learn to “include” the absent partner’s perspective in the work.

Urban Eden, 296 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch Central

$380.00 due four weeks before the event, 22 July 2016

walter@psybernet.co.nz or text 021 2710610

See more details & enrol



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Psychodramatic Relationship Therapy Training – Introduction

This is the opening section (DRAFT Tuesday, 14 June, 2016) of a longer guide to Psychodramatic Relationship Therapy Training – see main post, with more links here.


Psychodramatic Relationship Therapy Training

I am a trainer (TEP) at the Christchurch Institute for Training in Psychodrama and a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist.

This document is a guide for people doing psychodramatic relationship therapy training workshops. I have conducted the workshops once or twice a year since 2011 in New Zealand and on one occasion in San Francisco. I have also conducted conference sessions and shorter training presentations at AANZPA, IAGP and NZ Imago conferences. I plan to offer the workshop regularly.

Psychodramatic Relationship Therapy Training Workshops
The workshops are an introduction to psychodramatic therapy with couples and people with significant relationships. The basis of this work is the philosophy and practice of J.L. Moreno. More recent couple therapy approaches often have their origins in the work of Moreno and have evolved aspects beyond what was possible in Moreno’s lifetime. These modalities can be referenced to enrich psychodramatic work. The approaches include Imago, Emotionally Focussed Therapy, the work of the Gottmans, Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent communication, Dan Wile’s Collaborative Therapy, the work of William J. Doherty and Hedy Schleifer.

Workshops involve a high level of participation, practice and sharing. Developing a philosophy of loving relationships happens as we practice. Workshops are geared to the needs of the participants and attending several events may be indicated to practice competently.

The workshops are suitable for psychodrama practitioners and trainees, people trained in other modalities of couple therapy who wish to enrich their own perspective and to sharpen their work.
The workshops are open people new to couple therapy who can use the training as a starting point. New practitioners will need to consider further training and supervision in relationship therapy.

Couple therapy is usually done with the couple and the therapist. It can also be done in groups. Mostly the training is focussed one couple with a therapist. Groupwork is also covered.
Therapists who work with individuals only will find the workshop useful. It will increase consciousness of the healing potential in the client’s primary relationship and “include” absent partner and their perspective.

Psychodrama & couple therapy
Psychodramatic relationship therapy goes back to the beginning of the 20th century with J.L. Moreno valuing deep and transformative encounters. He was instrumental in creating the first couple therapy. (ref to where the actors became the protagonist and the first began – and it was a drama – nolte?) He spoke of developing a distinct form of interpersonal psychotherapy:

“… an active form of psychotherapy in which the personal and interpersonal problems … are treated at the same time.”

J.L. Moreno, Psychodrama Vol 1 (1977:233)

This was the forerunner of what today we call couple or relationship therapy.
Morenian theory of change is known as the Canon of Creativity. He describes a cycle that moves from a cultural conserve though warm up to spontaneity and creativity.

Psychodrama, Sociometry, Sociodrama and Role Training
The word “psychodrama” is used generically in this paper to include the four specialties defined by AANZPA. Psychodramatic Relationship Therapy is an application and integration of all the specialties. The relevance of each specialty can be seen in this summary:

Role Training aims to develop interpersonal effectiveness through a specific focus on the development of one aspect of a person’s role or role system, or one defined aspect of their personality. Role training utilises the breadth of the psychodrama method while lending itself particularly to brief interventions.

Sociometry highlights the two-way relations between individuals. It holds within its view both formal and informal relationship networks. Value is given to the investigation and assessment of visible and invisible links, the strength and weakness of these links, and the personal and cultural factors associated with attraction, neutrality and rejection in relationships. The aim of sociometry is to bring about a greater degree of mutuality between people, furthering group objectives for collaboration.

Sociodrama opens up new perceptions of organisations and groups and involves practicing new solutions to group and intergroup conflicts. It focuses on the identification of values and relationship dynamics expressed within group and wider cultural settings. It aims to stimulate greater social awareness, individual flexibility and creative relationships.

Psychodrama explores universal themes as expressed in the life interests and concerns of individuals. Emphasis is given to strengthening the abilities of an individual. This may involve repair and rejuvenation of relationship dynamics established throughout life. Psychodrama actively explores real-life situations using dramatic enactment, analysis of the roles of the system presented, and enables more adequate, flexible and creative interactions for the future.

Psychodrama Australia, Melbourne Campus Handbook

Stage, director, audience, protagonist and auxiliaries
Moreno’s distinctive contribution is to use theatre as the laboratory for investigation and change. This ensures an experimental and holistic approach where people are in the context of life itself. People interact in roles that include thinking, feeling and action. The theatrical approach brings in the concepts of stage, director, protagonist, auxiliary and audience.
The “five instruments” of psychodrama are applicable to psychodramatic relationship therapy. In a session with the couple and a therapist it is useful to be conscious how these instruments apply and how the functions shift between the three individuals present.

When is one person a protagonist for the relationship?
How can the other be an auxiliary?
When is couple therapy more like a sociodrama, with the relationship as the protagonist?

Thinking of the relationship as a drama is fitting. In two ways. One, all relationships have a life cycle from romance, through a power struggle and impasses to a resolution to a new level of love. Secondly, each therapy session is a drama, with warm up, action and sharing. Learning new roles is part of the relationship work.

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Psyche, role relationships & the relational paradigm

This relational paradigm changes everything.

This post follows an earlier one: Psychological Eclecticism and Nothing And that posts is part of a series on a theme – that the psyche is a form of surplus reality created by language. This relates to the relationship between modalities, each one a shining a light on something ephemeral, the psyche.

However I’ve evolved my thinking. The language must be co created and that act transforms the relationship.

Naming roles has a measure of objectiviy when there is a consensus, but to reach that consensus means we really need to understand each other.

No role naming without role reversal.

I must tell the story of the High Priestess of Abundance.

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From Eclecticism to specialisation and beyond

Just deleted this from a paper I’m writing where it is not relevant. But I want to keep the paragraph.

Years of involvement in psychodrama equipped me well to work with couples. However in the last decade or so I found myself doing more effective work helping people learn the art of loving as I learned from other modalities. Much reflection and exploration in practice led me to a new understanding of psychodramatic relationship therapy. Through engagement with Imago I learned to love and understand psychodrama afresh. (Logeman, 2009) How can we as psychodramatists best think of our relationship with other modalities? I have rejected eclecticism as it leads to a loss of focus. Marriage or integration does not for philosophy. I have tried translation; I challenged myself to use psychodrama concepts to make sense of what I have learned by being eclectic, but that does not honer some views and practices that simply are not present in psychodrama. I am satisfied to think that psychodrama can be enriched. Psychodrama has cosmology and a holistic view of human nature. At heart it is a theatrical method and anything can be put on the stage, including new ideas and methods.

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Reclaiming Conversation

photo jeanbaptisteparis

How Smartphones Are Killing Conversation

A Q&A with MIT professor Sherry Turkle about her new book, Reclaiming Conversation. – Amazon

Sherry Turkle has been a thorough investigator of the media – and I like her experiential – ethnographic approach in her first book Life on the screen – Amazon

We are in the early days of technology. Can we develop etiquette – a new norm in the way we have about things like eating with your mouth full. Will parents say, “Don’t put your phone on the table while we are eating.” ? It could happen. We changed norms around smoking. Around sexism. This interview begins to articulate new norms without being anti tech,

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Notes on Gordon Wheeler’s Book: Beyond Individualism

Somehow I found this book and purchased the Kindle edition It exactly relates to what I’m thinking about about the moment.

As I’m grappling with psychodrama and the relational paradigm, it is good to find someone who has grappled with this in Gestalt. Gestalt is in some ways born out of psychodrama, though it has from my experience been far more “individualistic”, it is individual therapy in the group, and then there is that Prayer by Perls! I have no doubt that Moreno pioneered a relational conception of reality (see Zerka Moreno on Doubling and Tele and The Locus of Therapy – Moreno, but that it was still somewhat rooted in the individual paradigm. Perhaps Wheeler & Harville Hendrix came to this specific consciousness separately?

History of the old paradigm

I’m reading it slowly and want to catch the nuances of his version of the relational paradigm. The first section is about the history of the old paradigm – and summed up in the quote below. (Wheeler, 2000, pp 52-53)

Is there no individual at all? Or is it a figure ground thing? Is the old paradigm absorbed in the next? What does he make of Buber? How does his perspective impact on practice?

The Individualist Paradigm

All this is the expression of what we have already begun calling here the paradigm of individualism, a complex and interlocking set of underlying assumptions and hidden presuppositions that has a 3000-year pedigree in the West, running straight back to the Greeks and then forward in a largely unbroken line down through the Hellenized Hebrews, the Christian synthesis and its medieval flowering, the Renaissance with its rediscovery of humanism, the Enlightenment, the 19th-Century age of scientific materialism, and right on down to our own post-modern times. In the process this paradigm serves to unite thinkers and movements as otherwise diverse as Plato and the Hebrew Prophets, Galileo and the Church, Freud and the Behaviorists, or Carl Jung and Karl Marx, all of whom may disagree vehemently and sometimes violently with each other about the dynamics and determinants of human behavior, the direction of history, the motivation and purpose of life, and so on — but all of whom are united at this deeper level by underlying assumptions, taken for granted but seldom articulated, about the nature of the individual self, which is to say, who those individual human beings are who are living that life, and having or creating or submitting to those experiences.
The fundamental propositions of that paradigm, as we have already seen and as we lift them out now for examination, are: 1) that the individual is prior to relationship, and exists in some essential way apart from relational context and connection, and 2) that relationships themselves are therefore secondary, and in some sense less real than the individuals who enter into them, who after all were already there, fully formed, and can come and go from one relationship to another as their own needs and circumstances dictate, presumably without altering their own essential nature. To Plato, as we have said, these propositions must have seemed incontrovertible and probably too obvious to bear mention — as indeed they may seem to us, on some purely logical level anyway, even if we do feel some nagging discomfort with them when they’re presented in this bald way — a hesitation growing perhaps out of living or working with infants and children, out of spiritual concerns or experiences we may have had, from intimate relationship and deep commitments, or just from our everyday experiences of living with and caring for other people. The fundamental separation of one individual’s experience from that of another, which follows directly from these assumptions, would likewise have seemed obvious to Plato — as would Descartes’s classic separation of mind or self from body, which was essentially unchanged from the Greek view, only some two thousand years later. The soul, which is the essence of the person, is individual, eternal, and unchanging — and of course separate from this material world, again by creation, which again closes off developmental or relational questions.
Wheeler, G. (2000). Beyond individualism: Toward a new understanding of self, relationship, and experience (1st ed.). United States: Analytic Press,U.S.

I’ll Make more notes as I go.

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