Zerka Moreno on Doubling and Tele

Still thinking about the interpsyche – and found this passage from Zerka Moreno in the Psychodrama Network News from the American Society of group Psychotherapy and psychodrama 2005 I now see the difference between empathy and doubling. Doubling in its conception includes the relationship, it is not the intuition of the therapist directly but the voice of the interpsyche – the relationship between two people.

But there is another, more important, aspect of McGaw’s presentation. When he speaks about how his doubling with a protagonist is so often correct, he interprets this as due to his intuitive ability. When pressed by Rogers to explain it more specifically while speaking of his own power in that respect, he refers to it as his “empathy.” Unfortunately, he overlooks the contribution to the process by the protagonist, as if it all comes out of the therapist’s psyche, that of a single mind. By unfortunate I mean that this is just the area of Moreno’s contribution, namely to have pointed out that it is the interaction between people – tele – resulting in the “inter-psyche,” the space between people, that is the foundation of his and our work. This observation, more than anything else McGaw speaks of, tells me he has not really grasped Moreno’s message. It is our emphasis on the moment, the here and now, the spontaneity of the protagonist, the interaction of minds, that distinguishes our own field from that of individual psychology, a lesson we must never overlook.

Zerka Moreno makes it so clear psychodrama is a relational not an individual method.

Recently while teaching doubling it was clear the person was trying to think what the other person was thinking. Close, but not quite it. I said… let yourself be him, become him, breathe like him, sit like him, look at the world through his eyes and then voice what comes up, you won’t be guessing, you don’t have a choice about what comes up.

The doubling was then noticeably different even though not always exactly right.

__________________________________________________

Later: Saturday, 6 October, 2012

I’m now (post the Dan Wile workshop) thinking the phrase above, “you don’t have a choice about what comes up” is right, but not enough.

Many things will come up and it is useful to choose to voice those things that are progressive for the protagonist, such things as empathy for another person, declaring an inner struggle, claiming the validity of experience.

Judgement of others, blaming and self righteous anger may also come up. They could be ignored, but if they feature strongly they could be moderated with such phrases as: I know this is might not be easy for you to hear. I wish I had a way of expressing this more constructively. I have been sitting on this for a long time and my intention is to bring it out to improve the relationship.

Later: Sunday, 29 November 2015

…this is just the area of Moreno’s contribution, namely to have pointed out that it is the interaction between people – tele – resulting in the “inter-psyche,” the space between people, that is the foundation of his and our work.

This makes it so clear that Moreno had the relational paradigm, he did not call it that and he often slips into thinking of individuals, yet he is so instrumental in this as an influence on Buber and then Harville Hendrix and Hedy Schleifer.

Related Posts:

Harville Hendrix workshop

More reports and reflections on the Harville Hendrix workshop for Imago practitioners in Auckland on 20 March 2011. Most of what he said was not new to me, and what I will note here is mostly what I heard him say. What was unexpected was the power of his ability to do, be in the moment with us what he was talking about. Present, connected, empathic, and making eye contact in such a way that if let at times he was talking just to me, in fact he was, totally there with me in those moments.

The Importance of Theory.
The theory allows the practitioner to know what to do beyond the application of techniques. H also mentioned the importance of research. Brian mentioned there was a swag of research quoted in Wikipedia Imago entry.

Relational Paradigm
The main theory he presented for most of the day was the relational paradigm. Summed up thus: being as relationship. Thus placing this as a shift in consciousness going beyond the philosophers of being such as Heidegger and Sartre and also Ken Wilbur, who has a heirachy of consciousness that is about individual beings.

“Being as relation, that is a revolution in thinking.”

Did Harville say Ken was stuck in the past? I think that he is as this relational thinking is deep and profound, and changes everything. This became really evident to me later in the day as H spoke about self. Self is a negative or remainder once all projection and judgment is withdrawn.

Relationship is a spiritual practice one can do any time when there is another.

“Empathy without judgment is my spiritual practice. Everyone offers you an opportunity.”

See the other as Thou

Observer Effect
H referred to quantum physics. I heard a new angle on this, not just that the observer changes that which is observed, but that the thinking the observer brings to the observed, the intention and attitude will change the situation. What power we have, for good or ill!

The medical model is challenged with this understanding. If we see people as sick, then they can’t get well. It might work with physical illness but not in the psychological world.

“It is important how we see people who come to see us.”

Empathy
How to be with people, we can’t be other than how we are. The essence of being in relationship is to be in empathy.

“Empathy is felt connection.”

When a group member suggested that Maori were a people who were in a connected state H noted that this was an earlier level of connection, more like fusion of the tribe. The empathy he spoke of was connection from a differentiated self.

“Move from the imagined connection to the felt connection and there is participation in that. Getting otherness is terrifying, you have to surrender. To abandon the world you have imagined is terrifying.”

The other person “experiences you experiencing them”. Or even further … They then experience you experiencing them experiencing you… the empathic stance:

“I’m experiencing you experiencing me having my experience. ”

Why people come to us…

“Something has punctured their ability to be connected. They are scared. Some are really scared.”

Thus we make a safe place and there is a transference to the space. ‘This is the place we feel safe, you won’t let us fight.’

“How we hold them in our mind is how they respond to us.”

“We can hold them if we are not anxious”

You can’t connect with a person you are merged with. Differentiation is a sort of birth for each. The self emerges not by saying “I am me!” It is by releasing the other, tolerating the differentiated other. Imago is a process of giving birth to the other person. I’m the mother of their birth. and this is where my birth happens as I am the remainder, what is left as I surrender.

How to be non-judgmental with violence. (( missed a lot of this discussion))
Thou.

“You are as dangerous to them as they are to you.”

“You are the co-creator of the transaction.”

Vicarious introspection

I understood this as seeing through the violence to the wounded child and reflecting that back to the person. I think of doubling as we use it in psychodrama.

The talking cure is the listening cure.

Book: Biology of Belief, Spontaneous Evolution (Bruce Lipton) – culture is the petrie dish of the cell.

Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a Way to Get There from Here) – Kindle edition by Bruce Lipton. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks

“all negativity causes chaos”

I am nudging, nudge nudge, nudge. It is facilitation not therapy.

Phrases Harville used in a dialogue:

Make eye contact. Feel your eyeballs and relax so your pup is will increase in size and that will relax her. Deepen your pupils by taking a deep breath.

Breathe together, set up a resonance.

Look when that happens you see a glow on her face.

Stay with the terror till it passes.

Lead lines

Am I getting a good sense of that now?

When I feel this frustration in the future I’ll …

… and the gift to our relationship is that …

Reference

Lipton, Bruce (2009), Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a Way to Get There from Here) – Kindle edition. Hay House. Amazon

Related Posts: