Warm up

Here is the section on warm up from my paper: The Group and its Protagonist.

The occasion is that I am thinking about warm up in the context of couple therapy, and warm up to dialogue. Following the quote is translation of this section to apply it to couple therapy.

The term warm-up is widely used in psychodramatic circles, sometimes to refer to individuals, and often to a quality of the group as a whole. The latter use may be in reference to the sociometry in the group as well as the roles of the members. I think of warm-up as being the extent to which a person or group is “ready, willing and able” to do a specific task. Moreno defined it as “the operational expression of spontaneity.” (Moreno, 1953, p. 42) Warm-up is relevant to the selection of a protagonist, perhaps more so than an application of any specific sociometric techniques. Moreno is speaking to the audience about the warm-up:

“Another significant aspect is the warm-up. In this session the participants were entirely unprepared, while in other cases they may be warmed-up in advance as to the problem to be worked out… Then there is the warm-up which takes place in the first few minutes of the session… The form which the warm-up takes may come from the director or the group itself.”

(Moreno, 1951a in Fox, 1987, p. 177)

Warm-up is also a quality of the group as a collective. The degree to which the group operates with spontaneity is influenced by such things as the purpose and planning that has gone into the event, such factors as the communication prior to the meeting is influential. The warm-up is not simply a given, warm-up can be created by the director. The aim of the current study is to focus on the ways the director may assist in the revelation of the warm-up and name it. An accurate assessment of the current warm-up will assist the ability to influence it.

The term warm-up is useful when working with couples. It is also useful for couples to grasp the idea, as trying to relate with a poor warmup is not fruitful. The term can refer to each of the individuals, and also to the climate they create between them. I think of warm-up as being the extent to which each partner, and how the two of them together are “ready, willing and able” to do a specific task. Moreno defined it as “the operational expression of spontaneity.” (Moreno, 1953, p. 42) Warm-up is relevant to deciding who will initiate a dialogue, who will be the protagonist, bringing their concerns to the fore to further connection.

The term was coined in the context of groups. Moreno is speaking to the audience about the warm-up:

“Another significant aspect is the warm-up. In this session the participants were entirely unprepared, while in other cases they may be warmed-up in advance as to the problem to be worked out… Then there is the warm-up which takes place in the first few minutes of the session… The form which the warm-up takes may come from the director or the group itself.”

(Moreno, 1951a in Fox, 1987, p. 177)

The degree to which the couple can operate with spontaneity is influenced by such things as the purpose and planning that has gone into the event, such factors as the communication prior to the meeting is influential. The warm-up is not simply a given, warm-up can be created by the therapist, who can assist in the revelation of the warm-up and name it. An accurate assessment of the current warm-up will assist the ability to influence it.

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