I miss her. It was time for her to go. It is a marker of some sort. I got the cat for my 60th birthday, and now the cat has died of old age! Her birth and death are like cairns along a track in the bush. Markers. Her grave in the backyard is literally a bit like a cairn. Human life can be measured in cat lives. Maybe I have one or max two to go.
With the strange absence of the cat, I’m looking back at other life cairns. They pop up all over the place.
Stumbled onto a link to the Whole Earth site. Now that was a marker. That first Catalog, late sixties, literally changed my life. A counterculture ethos emerged just when I was ready. Led on to creating an urban community in Christchurch, Chippenham, now Heartwood.
The first thing on the Whole Earth site that stood out was an item by Ivan Illich. He is one of the influencers in my life. I devoured his book Deschooling Society – that led to Four Avenues School.
Just watched the last episode of season 4 of the Peaky Blinders. Loved it. I hear there will be a season 5, and the show is set up to deal with British politics in the 1920’s . Got me looking around and found this piece – a good bit of background reading.
The concept of medial understanding was the forerunner of what I call today co-conscious and co-unconscious states. Such a technique of reciprocal comprehension and “interpersonal memory” seemed to make possible astonishing matrimonial psychodramas, husband and wife reaching back into their first encounter and reliving, often with astonishing detail, all their moments of love and suffering, their silent tragedies and their moments of great decision
Just how to produce such dramas remains somewhat obscure to me. Will experiment – and research!
The quote above is from this article by JL “Interpersonal Therapy and Co-Unconscious States, A Progress Report in Psychodramatic Theory” originally from: Group Psychotherapy, 14 (3-4), 234-241 (Sept-Dec., 1961) See PDF below.
Here is a quote from Moreno that has major implications for how we conduct psychodrama in groups or with individuals when they want to work on significant relationships and the other party is not present.
And the other question that flows on from this piece of wisdom from JL is how to do “re-enactment a deux”. The phrase ‘psychodrama a deux’ when I have heard it come up has referred to doing psychodramatic psychotherapy with an individual. This is different. Couple therapy using psychodramatic processes is something that some of us have well developed. What about working with a couple when both are present in a psychodrama group?
I have been exploring that question in practice.
What about when someone does a drama involving an intimate other who is not there?
What if a couple are in crisis? Do we recommend they attend a psychodrama group?
These are questions I will be addressing in a workshop at the AANZPA conference in Brisbane in January. ‘Addressing’ here means exploring in action with colleagues.
Marriage and family therapy for instance, has to be so conducted that the “interpsyche” of the entire group is re-enacted so that all their tele-relations, their co-conscious and co-unconscious states are brought to life. Co-conscious and co-unconscious states are by definition such states which the partners have experienced and produced jointly and which can therefore be only jointly reproduced or re-enacted. A co-conscious or a co-unconscious state can not be the property of one individual only. It is always a common property and cannot be reproduced but by a combined effort. If a re-enactment of such co-conscious or co-unconscious state is desired or necessary, that re-enactment has to take place with the help of all partners involved in the episode. The logical method of such re-enactment a deux is psychodrama. However great a genius of perception one partner of the ensemble might have, he or she can not produce that episode alone because they have in common their co-conscious and co-unconscious states which are the matrix from which they drew their inspiration and knowledge.
Psychodrama Volume 1, 4th edition, page vii
Later — Friday, 22 December, 2017
Just noticed this quote fro Marshall Rosenberg:
It may be most difficult to empathize with those we are closest to.
This is my summary of what Moreno means by the social atom. In psychotherapy that “atom” or pattern is the client. When two of these “patterns” connect in love, then a lifelong process can follow. Maybe it is true love at first sight? Unlikely, love is blind. One possibility is to move from blind love to deep mature connection. The other possibility is hell. A third is lifeless boredom.
Psychodrama is a form of therapy. Jacob Levi Moreno founded the the early forms of the philosophy and practice in Vienna early in the last century. On page one of his seminal book: “Who Shall Survive?” he wrote about a therapeutic procedure.