Co-Unconscious

The unconscious is a slippery idea by its very nature, if we become gradually more aware of our own dynamics, more conscious then we realise that there was stuff going on unconsciously before. I recall the day, for example, when I realised my mountaineering was associated with escape from social difficulty, originally in the family. Moreno talks of the unconscious all the time, though he belittles the idea occasionally and claims he surpassed it with the notion of warm up.

“The unconscious lives on as a by product of the warming up process.” Who Shall Survive? page liv.

“The antiquated couch was transformed into a multi-dimensional stage, giving space and freedom for spontaneity, freedom for the body and for bodily contact, freedom of movement, action and interaction. Free association was replaced by psychodramatic production and audience participation, by action dynamics and dynamics of the groups and masses.

the couch is in the stage
sexuality is in spontaneity
the unconscious is in the warm up
transference is in the tele

 

With these changes in the research and therapeutic operation the framework of psychoanalytic concepts, sexuality, unconscious, transference, resistance and sublimation was replaced by a new, psychodramatic and sociodynamic set of concepts, the spontaneity, the warming up process, the tele, the interaction dynamics and the creativity. These three transformations in vehicle, form and concept, however, transcended but did not eliminate the useful part of the psychoanalytic contribution. The couch is still in the stage – which is like a multiple of couches of many dimensions, vertical, horizontal and depth – sexuality is still in spontaneity, the unconscious is still the warming up process, transference is still in the tele; there is one phenomenon, productivity-creativity, for which psychoanalysis has given us no counterpart.” Who Shall Survive? page 120

productivity-creativity

 

In Psychodrama Volume 1 Moreno is quite happy to use the word unconscious again, especially when seen as co created in what he terms “intimate ensembles”:

See the full quote here

Therapy can make the unconscious conscious. In the same way, in couple therapy the repeating patterns the couple enact are revealed. The formerly unconscious becomes conscious. For example, a classic role description used in Imago therapy is the hailstorm and the turtle. The more one partner storms the more the other hides in their shell. Such dynamics are well understood by therapists but the couple may be totally oblivious to this co-created dynamic. To really see it in action and to reverse that cycle both parties need to be present.

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Entangled

When does the interpsyche kick in?

Who can explain it?
Who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons,
Wise men never try.

I’ll be foolish enough to try. In group work the underlying dynamics do not take long to surface, and they can even be predicted, for example if a new person joins we can expect inclusion/exclusion dynamics. The interpsyche is co-created yet has a life of its own that the participants don’t have a lot os say in, the members participate but they bring their history with them, their baggage, their culture and there specific family cultures & dynamics.

When does the interpsyche kick in? It does not take much!

Interpsyches are complex varied and each different from the other. If it were a landscape how would it look?

How does this relate to the social and cultural atom?

You can see some of my cultural bagage below:

Continue reading

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Marriage and family therapy – Moreno

Here is a fuller quote of a section quoted earlier.

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

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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.

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INTERPSYCHE – Relationship Therapy for Couples

Two notes from a search on “marriage” on my Moreno texts. There is a new clarity I’m getting about the principles of working with couples psychodramatically. Thes two snippets reinforce that. Interpsyche is very close to the notion of an imago in IRT.

INTERPSYCHE … Marriage and family therapy for instance, has to be so conducted that the “…” of the entire group is re-enacted so that all their tele-relations, their co-conscious and co-unconscious states are brought to life. Psychodrama v. 1 p. vii Introduction to 3rd edition

RESISTANCE TO DRAMATIZE … The two partners are on the stage, for instance, but refuse to enact any of the crucial situations which they have disclosed during the interviews. The director tries to get them started by shifting their attention rapidly from one plot to another. This may put their minds at comparative ease and make them willing to work. If this brings no result, he will suggest that they can pick any subject at random, or anything which they would like to tell one another at the moment. If this also is without effect, the director may suggest that they project upon the stage any of the more pleasant situations in which they may have found themselves in the past (when they were first in love), or any situation which would express how they would have wished their marriage to develop (perhaps having a baby or a large family), or a situation in the future which would express any change they might like to have in their life-situation. If these do not bring any results, there still remains the choice of symbolic situations and symbolic roles for which they may have affinity or which might be constructed for them. If all this does not have the effect of an actual start, the director does not plead or insist too strongly, but sends the subjects back to their seats. Psychodrama v. 1 pp. 338-339

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