Roles Create Roles

“a role is the functioning form the individual assumes in the specific moment he reacts to a specific situation in which other persons or objects are involved” (Moreno, 1977, p IV)

Lets take a list of roles, these are from Max Clayton’s article (Clayton, 1994),  it is a convenient list, and it is the one that got me to think about this:

Artist
Playful fun-lover
Coach
Companion
Adventurer
Manipulator
Teacher
Despairer
Self-doubter
Guard
Frightened, abandoned orphan
Anxious and suspicious fantasiser
Angry controller
Condemning critic
Friend
Father
Good listener
Lover
Perfectionist

For each of these there is as Moreno puts it: “a specific situation in which other persons or objects are involved.” We can grasp the role it is possibly in relation to from the role.

Artist
Playful funlover
Coach
Companion
Adventure
Manipulator
Teacher
Despairer
Self-doubter
Guard
Frightened, abandoned orphan
Anxious and suspicious fantasiser
Angry controller
Condemning critic
Friend
Father
Good listener
Lover
Perfectionist
Art Materials or Audience
Playmates
Trainee
Companion
Wilderness, the unknown, adventurer
Compliant Follower, Sucker, victim
Student
The Void, Black dog, Stubborn controller
Critic
Invaders
Absent Parent, Threatening bully
Challenging person or situation
Helpless follower
Self doubter
Friend
Child
Speaker
Lover
Slob

Creating Change in a Role Relationship

These role pairs will change as one of the roles changes:

The teacher can’t teach without the student

Lovers need lovers

If the manipulatee ceases to be duped and becomes assertive the manipulator can’t manipulate.

If there is no speaker, become a good listener.

If there is no artist, become an appreciative audience and contribute materials

Be loving and love may come your way.

Stop criticising, appreciate and praise and you won’t be with a self-doubter for long.

Role relationships

There are different types of role relationship. Max talks of complementary roles and symmetrical roles.

“The diagrams made it easier to be aware of the complementary and symmetrical role systems that developed with other people and of the fact that there was an increase in complementary role relationships. As ability to analyse, plan and enjoy life came to the fore, so those roles pertaining to intimacy increased. There was a welcoming of closeness and an interest in complementing what others were doing. The aggressive approach to others diminished and along with this a lessening of symmetrical role relations and of the competitive dynamic that is associated with these. There was also a development of a real sense of being a role creator. Previously there had been much more of a sense of being a mundane person. A look at the diagrams also confirmed the ability to create forms of expression through which life purposes could be fulfilled. The experience of being a role creator was accompanied by an increase in motivation.”

An example of complementary role might be speaker / listener – and this would increase intimacy, as max suggests.

Symmetrical roles can escalate and be competitive e.g. Talker / talker can become shouter / shouter.

But some symmetrical roles can be intimate lover/lover gardener/gardener

Google search found the book online Note: I have a physical copy.

References

Clayton, G. M. (1994). Role Theory and its Application in Clinical Practice. In P. Holmes, K. Karp, & M. Watson (Eds.), Psychodrama Since Moreno (pp. 121–144). London: Routledge. Retrieved Tuesday, 9 February, 2016 from aanzpa.org
Moreno, J. L. (1977). Psychodrama Volume One (Fourth ed.). Beacon, New York: Beacon House.

Writing

I’ve been writing but not in this blog.

I’ve been working on three papers to qualify as a Trainer, Educator and Practitioner in psychodrama. Now more or less done. A paper, study on Moreno’s social science methodology, needs a lot more work and research. A book proposal, I’m doing that at the same time as the research paper, it uses a different part of my brain.

Maybe I can put more snipets here as I think about this work?

The reason I don’t is that I use Evernote – and it replaces one function of this blog, notes to myself.

Can I be more journalistic here?

Maybe.

Coevolution, invention, creation of the psyche – the relational paradigm

There is a flow in the evolution process.

Grass had to exist before grazing animals could evolve, they in turn had to precede carnivores.

These examples perhaps are best expressed in the principle of the “next adjacent possible”.

A brief digression: I recently ran across a novel way to think about this question. In evolutionary theory, there’s a concept called the “adjacent possible,” coined by scientist Stuart Kauffman.

From this blog.

The “adjacent possible” refers to the change that’s available to you — i.e. adjacent, next door – versus the change that’s not.

Screen Shot 2012 10 07 at 1 24 29 PM

From Stuart A. Kauffman — Reinventing The Sacred Amazon

The process is holistically connected to the mutual adaptations in each species. Grasses develop ways to survive grazing. Herbivores evolve capacity to run, and carnivores develop sharper teeth and claws.

This idea is sometimes captured with the phrase co-evolution (Wikipedia):

In biology, coevolution is “the change of a biological object triggered by the change of a related object.”[1] Coevolution can occur at many biological levels: it can be as microscopic as correlated mutations between amino acids in a protein, or as macroscopic as covarying traits between different species in an environment. Each party in a coevolutionary relationship exerts selective pressures on the other, thereby affecting each other’s evolution.

Earlier postexaptation, a related concept.

I’m imagining this whole process as envisage the world of the psyche. The changing nature of how we relate to our being. Everything from collective rituals, art, monks meditating in a cave, group therapy, psychoanalysis, conjoint family week and couple therapy.

The investigations above, summed up as:

  • Adjacent possible
  • Coevolution
  • Exaptation

Imagine how these apply to the coevolution/invention/creation of the psyche.

(Why I say evolution/invention/creation is evident from this post about psyche this post about the nature of the psyche, about how it is not a thing, yet not nothing either, is relevant.)

Freud was before Jung. The idea of an unconscious and a method of working with it that was possible in the world was available to Freud as a medical clinician.

Moreno was in part a reaction to Freud. Group therapy and conjoint therapy was possible.

Moreno and Buber had found or invented an idea about the nature of the person being in the relationship.

Hendrix is pioneering the ice that being is relationship.

The relational paradigm is the now a niche that has opened, a shift in the culture and new ways of attending the the psyche are possible.

Moreno’s idea that this could well transform science is also on the cards as an I-Thou relationship with things is also possible according to Buber.

Podcasts I’ve enjoyed lately

I’ve been using Pocketcasts on the iPhone. First one I’ve liked in all these years. The iTunes one never satisfied and the way I used to do it – was clumsy. But it worked and was essentially what did on the Palm.

Casts (as it also gets called) has a sharing function so I can easily pop them inhere from time to time. — though not the full audio. So the links might no work. When there is one I really want I’ll post the whole thing. The pocket cast links work only on the iPhone (or Android?) if you have the app.

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Are Computers Creative?

Studio 360 from PRI and WNYCEpisode:

http://www.pocketcasts.com/share/ttW4ML

I did follow this one up:

I liked this show. Why dpi these AI programs never use the Internet, Wolfram Alpgha etc? Siri creates its own search … I think the big breakthrough will come when they link all of these things – the music – art and writing and all search through some higher entity.

I just noticed the words “higher entity” I just mean a meta engine. Ha.

NewImage

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RNZ: Saturday MorningEpisode: Kim Hill

Chris Szekely – Rahui and libraries

http://www.pocketcasts.com/share/s6Ur45

I like this and I have the book!

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1110/S00196/rahui-an-exceptional-new-childrens-book.htm

NewImage

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WeAreMany.org

Ways of Seeing: The Art Criticism of John Berger

http://www.pocketcasts.com/share/ODAn7Y

All the talks at the Chicago socialist conference are here. I like some of them.

Listened to this just as I was given this book

NewImage

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RNZ: Saturday MorningEpisode: Kim Hill Saturday Morning 19 May 2012

Art with Mary Kisler – Angelica Garnett

http://www.pocketcasts.com/share/7TLKXO

NewImage

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I like stuff about the Bloomsbury group. Bohemians.

Untitled

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I now have the Kindle Sample”

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Mac Power UsersEpisode:

Mac Power Users 56: Mail

http://www.pocketcasts.com/share/1s4pG1

Very long and a bit boring but what a resource if you want to understand Mail on the Mac.

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Who Shall Survive?

This is a rather interesting but puzzling link to Who Shall Survive. It has a different subtitle. Adds Helen Jennings as an author.

http://books.google.co.nz

The description there about relationships is one that I have not seen summed up so well before. The idea is central to the work, but not often one that people focus on.

Who shall survive?: A new approach to the problem of human interrelations

Jacob Levy Moreno, Helen Hall Jennings
1 Review
Nervous and mental disease publishing co., 1934 – Psychology – 440 pages
In approaching the contents of this book, the reader must not expect to find society or social groups considered as if they consisted of the sum of the individuals composing them. Wherever two or more people are functioning as a social group that group not only consists of those individuals, but, more important perhaps, if that is possible, than the individuals themselves and without which their functioning as a social group cauld not be expressed, are the relations which maintain between them. It is these intangible, imponderable and invisible aspects of the situation which enable the mathematical sum of a certain number of individuals to function as a social group. Dr. Moreno’s book might he described briefly as a study of these relations between individuals. Dr. Moreno develops a technique for a process of classification which is calculated, among other things, to bring individuals together who are capable of harmonious inter-personal relationships, and so creating a social group which can function at the maximum efficiency and with the minimum of disruptive tendencies and processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved).

The book is for sale here for $339.32

Jesus the man, Jobs the man

To make sense of this post you may need to read my last entry.

Also you may need to know who Barnum was:

And read: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/theater/mike-daisey-discusses-the-agony-and-ecstasy-of-steve-jobs.html?src=dayp that my friend Amy just sent me.

Jobs may well be a Barnum, and like Barnum he creates a new medium for communication, but it is not just the man. It is as if humanity is ready for a jump and it finds a vehicle to make it happen. Unfortunately it has to make in the capitalist context, given the failure of the German revolution after World War one. While Jobs is a creative guy, no doubt, and while he is enough of a Barnum to pull it all off in the world as it is, the world was ripe for a new leap in communication, to go beyond printing presses and beyond tele type machines. It took someone to make the next leap actual. Zuckerberg is another such. These steps in the evolution of the psyche are all distorted by the fucked up relations of production. The agony is to live in a sick social system, the actual agony of children in chinese factories and the agony of collusion, alienation and powerlessness for many others of us.

The leap in relations of production that we were on the edge of in capitalist countries at the start of the last century did not happen, history missed its natural turning. If we were in an era of new social relations of production the miserable state of psychological developments would not be the context for these technical innovations leading to huge cultural global shifts sweeping the world. However Rosa Luxembourg was assassinated, the social democrats subverted the revolution, industrial revolutions happens in the name of socialism and distorted the history of possible new relations of production. But that is how it is.

So what of new developments? Everything we create or do is in a backward social system. Creativity is social and public, but ownership lags behind, it is private and coercive and seeks out Dickensian situations such as china to maximize profits and to avoid failure in the market. I don’t think Jobs sold out on his vision, I imagine there was agony in making it happen.

Should he not have made the mouse, the first personal pc? Should we not use the technology? It is tempting as every object contains the labour power of the poor and exploited. I don’t think it it’s the answer to smash the tools, unless there was a mass movement of boycott. Even then the much needed jump is nothing to do with the tools, but in the relations of production, and this not because “we” collude with Chinese fascism, as Mike Daisey implies in the NYT interview. It is more that capitalism went global, that it is alive and well as a system. Not so well actually, perhaps in its vicious death trows. Who will lead that transition we are now on the edge of? We are ripe for another leap.

The revolution, innovation, the next big thing will not be technological but social and political. People who lead this next leap forward won’t be just great writers like Marx or orators like Lenin and Trotsky but people able to lead using the new orality of the Internet, even though its built with an unjust system of production. The screens are not the same thing as the humans who communicate via those screens. Revolution won’t be be because of the the Internet, but it can’t happen if people throw away their telephones and everything made in China, we live in this world.

The reflection I’m making, if it is not obvious, is that there are mighty forces at work, and that no one man Jesus or Jobs is really the cause of them. There is always someone who gives expression most fully and effectively to a collective urge. The power of leaders is not only because of what they do or say, but because of the ripeness of the culture they speak to. The culture chooses leaders.

Intention as Crucible

I was stimulated today by three thoughts coming together.

I’ve been keen on the Alexander Technique in the last few days. Sore back, and also watching my son josh with a crippling sore back has led to a renewed interest in this approach. I’d read the book by F Matthias Alexander (Wikipedia) in the early ’80s. It got me to walk without a limp after an accident.

The aspect of the philosophy on my mind today was what they call “end-gaining” ie focusing on the goal or outcome rather than the process. Yet the method certainly has goals; reduction of pain, better performance, less stress, productivity. Like much of the method, it’s a bit paradoxical. The couple work I do with clients involves slow conscious dialogue: I say slow is fast. It is a bit similar. I use the phrase “goal shadow” to describe the negatives of being too outcome focused.

This was on my mind when I heard the phrase “holding the intention” in relationship to art. That puts the same idea in an active way, rather than not “end-gaining”, hold the intention. Intention is significantly different from goal, purpose or solution, not much but enough to give me a whole new feel, there is no sharpness in it, it is soft focus.

The third thing was reflecting on the sacred space of the therapeutic hour. How framing the work in an hour created a holding space. (Lacanians may differ). I think of that hour, the psychodrama stage, the Imago dialogue and the canvas of a painting, as alchemical vessels within which transformation can happen.

Then it occurred to me that intention far from being a wishy-washy thing could be an alchemical vessel. Holding the intention creates a space in which the intention is held, a space for the work to cook through all its stages. I like it, it complements GTD.

Later:Changed the title from vessel to crucible, and noticed how firmly this related to an earlier post. Being & Doing.

Manifesto project

Love this manifesto project  Manifesto

Here is one of many

The cult of Done Manifesto | Manifesto:

The cult of Done Manifesto

01 There are three states of being.

Not knowing, action and completion.

02 Accept that everything is a draft.

It helps to get done.

03 There is no editing stage.

04 Pretending you know what you’re doing 

is almost the same as knowing what you 

are doing, so just accept that you know 

what you’re doing even if you don’t

and do it.

05 Banish procrastination. If you wait more

than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.

06 The point of being done is not to finish but

to get other things done.

07 Once you’re done you can throw it away.

08 Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps

you from being done. 

09 People without dirty hands are wrong.

Doing something makes you right.

10 Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.

11 Destruction is a variant of done. 

12 If you have an idea and publish it on the 

internet, that counts as a ghost of done.

13 Done is the engine of more.

Locus of therapy… locus of communication

I posted about the Locus of Psychotherapy here. Today it occurred to me that the whole notion of Psyberspace is about the locus of communication.

I write about relationships, forms of communication, the therapeutic frame, the shape of the seating arrangement, and the difference between a typewriter and PC. All these things matter to me. The space creates the psyche.

And in that sense the psyche evolves, and manifests in various ways in different places. Religion and therapy have strong hold on the word soul or psyche because they are so focussed on spaces. Then Marshall McLuhan comes along with the huge exploration of the impact of communication on the psyche. Medium is the message, global village via electronic communication. beautiful insights. Then in the sixties, the importance of set and setting on the impact of hallucinogens becomes understood (and severely misunderstood as they create an impossible set and setting called war on drugs).

This thinking I am sketching here is highly systemic. It means context is integral to the meaning. I’ve been very insistent that in my psychotherapy online I use only email. This is to keep the constancy of set and setting and medium. Is that important? In the earthquake here I see how it tests our metal as the contexts are focibly changed, new rooms, new modes, I’ve for the first time conceded to phone sessions in addition to f2f work. Its ok, but id sooner stick to the one context.

The original ‘locus’ discussion was to distinguish between two very systemic approaches, both of which value set and setting; Psychodrama and Imago Relationship therapy. When it comes to that discussion I am well beyond the question of the need for valuing context, medium etc. Now it is a case of which medium is good for what sort of communication? There are two modes, group and dyad. Not mutually exclusive, there can be dyads within a group.

I’m not sure if a group, or a dyad is a medium? Perhaps the actual distinction here is between a social atom and an imago. These categories of the psych are such slipery things. We only know them backup being with them, in them, as they are ‘virtual’ in some sense. Of course there are real people in real actions, but the social atom or cultural atom is the pattern that exists in that realm. the Imago is much the same, these are patterns of the soul we can be with, attend to, but they come up, arise in certain contexts. OK maybe that is the question then, what is the set and setting required to evoke the Imago? What is the set and setting to evoke the Original Social Atom? Conversely we may ask does the set and setting of the Freudian couch evoke?

What is this blogging doing? I am typing on a PC (in XP if that matters?) in a blog (WordPress) that is hosted on a server (DreamHost), and apart from one or two people I don’t know who reads it. About 30 hits a day probably people googling (the wrong) stuff. For all that it is one to many. It is also possibly going to be around for a long time, so somebody some Time may find these musings of interest.

I’ve been thinking of cross posting to an online community I am in. There it would feel very different. The locus would immediately transform. Blog posts, entries like this in the context of this Psyberspace blog are not the same in the context of a connected community. This blog is not a community, though some may be.

I’ve written it here. I could quote it elsewhere, I could use it in an essay (as I did with the original post, which led to a section in this Paper, I could use it in a book or podcast. Perhaps there is an optimum place, perhaps one unique space in the world where it grows and builds and yields fruit. I can ask this as is see one-to-one psychotherapy as totally the wrong place for relationship psychotherapy, it is detrimental to it. Group work might be too. Both could be adapted, but with out the benefit of an Imago style relational paradigm they are counter productive. Could there be a parallel here? Is this idea I’m returning to time after time better places elsewhere? Sometime I yearn for a department in a university where they would love this stuff and I could expound all day and it (I) would be part of some sort of community of practitioners pounding this stuff together.

Specific media are needed for specific tasks. Where in the landscapes of the psyche is there the right psyberspace for psyberspace discussions.