I am intrigued by the parallel between the physics of particles/waves that change depending on the observer, and the psychotherapy process.

Once an observer is introduced we change the nature of the psychotherapy. The very stuff we grapple with in a diad, trust, engagement, transference are impacted in many ways if there is a third party observer. All the relationship stuff of the psychotherapy would be present with the observer as well. In addition what happens to the unconscious processes as a result of the invitation, allowed by the therapist, on the work with the therapist?

In a brief conversation today with colleagues I noted two comments that I’d like to reflect on more.

“Even inside the group there are things we can’t see.” (A)

And the other…

“Deciding to LOOK at the process changes the group as well, even when the observers are all members.” (G)


It might be useful to see how these observations relate to Moreno’s “Rules” of sociometry, which is a form of research relying on practice based evidence. I’ll quote my summary of them.

  1. Participants are informed, ready, willing and able to participate.
  2. Participants in the group are “researchers”, and the leader is also a participant.
  3. Participation is done in action. Learning is experiential, it is learning by doing.
  4. There is acknowledgment of the difference between process dynamics and the manifest content. To quote Moreno: “there is a deep discrepancy between the official and the secret behaviour of members”. (1951:39) Moreno advocates that before any “social program” can be proposed, the director has to “take into account the actual constitution of the group.” (ibid)
  5. Rule of adequate motivation: “Every participant should feel about the experiment that it is in his (or her) own cause . . . that it is an opportunity for him (or her) to become an active agent in matters concerning his (or her) life situation.” (ibid)
  6. Rule of “gradual” inclusion of all extraneous criteria. Moreno speaks here of “the slow dialectic process of the sociometric experiment”.

References are to: Moreno, J. L., 1951, Sociometry, Experimental Method and the Science of Society . Beacon House, Beacon, New York. Page 31

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