Summary of Norms and Guidelines
1. Everyone is mirrored. This slows sharing down but develops a sense of each speaker feeling safe and being fully heard.
2. Anyone can volunteer to mirror. If no one else wishes to mirror the speaker, the facilitator(s) will do it. We suggest that if a person wants to “respond” to what has been said, they not be the one to mirror the speaker to whom they wish to “respond.”
3. Have an attitude of pre-validation.* In other words, assume that all persons “make sense” and are valid before they speak. Listeners seek to understand the “sense” that speakers are making and are trying to express.
4. The group holds the “space of validity” for all members and encourages the sharing of different points of view.
5. Avoid MasterTalk* – in other words avoid sentences that imply that only one point of view is correct. If Master Talk statements are made, “Boundary insertions” may be used to return the tone to one of sharing.
· “This is a fact” is politely mirrored, “So you believe…”
· “This is what happened” becomes “So you remember…
· “You are wrong” becomes “So you think differently. You think…”
· “I think I speak for everyone here” is met with a polite request to just state what is true for him or her.
6. Value silence skillfully. Powerful points are often followed by silence. Silence doesn’t have to be filled right away. Listen for the emerging wisdom of the group.
7. Silence, on the other hand, can be a signal that talk is going underground. If this is perceived, a facilitator may invite and encourage sharing.
8. Facilitators and group members encourage all points of view and honor real differences.
9. Work to shift the tone from “conflict” to “sharing”. Saying you want to make an “addition” can be a powerful alternative to debating and win/lose thinking.
10. Encourage a sense of seeing a larger picture by valuing each person’s contribution to the group consciousness.
11. Learn to enjoy hearing and sharing even ideas you don’t particularly like. Learn to hold the tension of differences and grow the communologue space.
12. Senders should make relatively short sends; paying attention to the needs of other’s to share the time available.
13. It is believed helpful for senders to stay with one subject per send.
I’m studying up on master talk. Here is a link to Al’s main essay. There is also a link there to an MP3 which I bought.
Certain words can clue you into MasterTalk:
‘is’ , ‘know’, ‘the fact that’, ‘reality’, ‘we’ or ‘you.’”
I am trying to get the idea, these little lists help a lot.
The way out, Friend/friend talk, includes phrases such as
- I think
- In my experience
- I believe
- The way I understand it is..
The are I statements about information – cognitive I statements.
I like Al’s definition:
Note this is not a relativist position. There may well be one truth. But each of us has our own experience, leading us to our own conclusions and beliefs.
Article from an old newspaper:
Worth a read, especially the paragraphs on Master Talk
I recall being advised by my then supervisor, about 30 years ago, to look around for a psychotherapy modality that grabbed me and then to learn it thoroughly and not become prematurely eclectic. I followed that advice. Psychodrama was that modality for me and I am steeped in its traditions and have practiced it for decades and hope to do that for a few more.
However I have more than a passing familiarity with a some other fields of practice, I have a grasp of Archetypal Psychology and I am qualified in Imago Relationship Therapy. I have grappled with my multiple perspectives, and have written a paper about my tension with Imago for the AANZPA Psychodrama Journal: The Imago Affair. I’ve been thinking about this more of late.
In an earlier post I tried to capture a thought I had about dialogues. I was pleased to know someone read it and emailed me to say they were a bit confused. No wonder, I just pour out something I think about late at night — when I should be fast asleep!
I will describe more clearly how I work with couples by unpacking what I think are important ideas in a snippet from the earlier post.
I like to distinguish the words of the initiator of the dialogue, the protagonist, from the response by the person who is listening, the receiver, who I encourage to think of themselves as an auxiliary.
The problem is that I’m using language from two psychotherapeutic modalities. I imagine this makes no sense to anyone really, as there are very few psychodramatists who are also Imago Relationship Therapists. Even to someone who has that background it is still a muddled sentence.
Let me start again. First I’ll use Imago terms and then I’ll describe the same work using psychodrama language.
When learning to dialogue people often ask how to respond to their partner after they have listened to their first “send”. What do I say, can I say anything?
Response is central to relating. Is everything a response to the previous thing? Perhaps, but I like to distinguish the words of the initiator of the dialogue, the protagonist, from the response by the person who is listening, the receiver, who I encourage to think of themselves as an auxiliary. In responding as an auxiliary, we are not asking for anything. Of course the sender (or protagonist) might listen and mirror the response, but as a responder it is useful to keep the mind-set of an auxiliary, then the response is a form of mirroring in that the protagonist can see how they impact on the other person.
A response will reveal to the protagonist who how they are received. A response may also reveal something about the listener. Self disclosure as it is known in counselling jargon. As long as the auxiliary stance is maintained it can be useful, as long as its not all ‘Me, me, me.’ Good self disclosure on the part of the listener means the protagonist will know they are speaking with a person. A response that is well done will have the protagonist nodding, relaxing, learning about themselves and ready to open up more about themselves. They will not feel alone and trust will build. A full response will enliven the dance, create a rich space between the two, filled with meaning.
To encourage this when they ask: What do I say, can I say anything? I offer something like this:
What was most exciting to you in what you just heard.
What touched you most deeply.
One thing I have learned about you.
What I found valuable in what I heard.
Note from: http://gettingtheloveyouwant.com/thinktank
The Challenge of Creating Change: Freud and the Budda in Dialogue with Imago
Join Harville Hendrix for a preview of the keynote presentation at the 8th Annual Conference
I listened to it and found it quite wonderful.
Harville places connectedness as a form of consciousness akin to or surpassing enlightenment. That is quite something. It makes sense to me as there is a resonance through the cosomos, things connect.
Spotted another Harville Hendrix one there on Behaviour Change:
The pattern of role relations around an individual as their focus is called his cultural atom. Every individual, just as he has a set of friends and a set of enemies, – a social atom – also has a range of roles facing a range of counter-roles.
Psychodrama v. 1 p. 84
The interpsyche occurs then when the role cluster of a couple is particularly intertwined. Love. Upon investigation I imagine there would be a particular quality to the role relationships. The tele would be strong at least in some areas. The tele with the roles passed though the original social atom of each party would be strong. The mutual and positive/negative matches would outweigh the neutral?
This is a psychodramatic look at what Harville Hendrix calls the Imago. Sociometrically it can be explored in great depth.
More moreno quotes follow on the cultural atom