Adequacy

This is a word used in psychodrama circles. Used to describe roles. They can be

  • absent
  • embryonic – is a word used on occasions
  • underdeveloped
  • overdeveloped
  • conflicted

or

  • adequate

Adequacy is in the psychodrama domain is the pinnacle of performance – there is nothing more needed. It is not faint praise, as if a schoolteacher looking at an essay using the word might use it to mean. I’ll pass it but only barely.

The word is also used in the definition of spontaneity.

“An adequate response to a new situation.”

~

I am reflecting on this word that I have come to appreciate. I like the humble tone. The implicit belief that adequacy is enough. Adequacy echoes the idea in other modalities of “good enough”. The delight of “adequate” is that there is no more required. Adequacy is fitting, nothing more is needed now.

But what is adequate in a new situation? Crying, running, fighting… who arbitrates these things?

Theory does not make sense on its own. Psychodrama theory requires a psychodrama context. Roles occur on a stage, one of the five instruments: Stage, director, auxiliary egos, protagonist and audience.

In such a context there is a warm-up, an enactment and sharing.

The enactment and protagonist emerge from the group. In an enactment there is never one role. The purpose of the endeavour is already defined and explicit. A warm-up may include a purpose and a yearning. Obstacles will be in the consciousness of the group. Adequacy is part of an outcome created collectively, and shared by the group. Adequacy is measured by applause, boos and hisses, laughter and tears.

And of course there will be new discoveries and new developments. After all the situation we have just seen on the stage is now an old one, demanding a new response. And the next time we meet what was adequate last time may be just a step towards the new.

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