Psychological Eclecticism and Nothing

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.

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Psychodrama and Psychotherapy – Resources

This post is just for BOTH psychodrama and psychotherapy – see als Psychodrama – Resources and Psychotherapy – Resources. I’ll add more as I discover more.


A comparison of psychoanalytic and
psychodramatic theory from a
psychodramatist’s perspective
LARS TAUVON

abstract A comparison of Freud’s and Moreno’s theories with regard to their implications
for psychodrama therapy. Basic differences in the theories are discussed with special regard to
therapist role, transference and tele, insight and catharsis, the time concept, the body, and
developmental psychology. Other topics treated are concepts of drive or energy, psychic structure
and role theory, psychic determinism contra the doctrine of spontaneity-creativity and differences
between an intrapsychic and an interpersonal approach. An outline of the relationship of
psychodrama and its philosophy and practice to other schools of psychotherapy is given.

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On persistence & potency in psychotherapy.

A psychotherapy client or a couple may present with these dynamics:

I listen as he or she blames, blames and blames their spouse or partner. It all make sense. The pain is real and the partner does all those things they are accused of.

I invite the client into a dialogue with their partner (in couple work or as part of a role enactment using psychodramatic production one-to-one.)

“You push me away. You malign me. It’s not fair. You let me down. You are self absorbed. You are angry and you attack me. You are not capable of being civil. You are mad and crazy. You must be punishing me.”

I usualy intervene to stop such blaming before it reaches this level.

Here is what I see in my minds eye, and what I am thinking.

It’s a dance. There is no I or you. There is a co-created enactment of defences against…. not each other, but the pain that results from imperfections of the world when they were in their formative years, and also from the nastiness of all the pain of the world.

The anger is a warning system. It is a by product with the function of drawing attention to the root of the problem. I see sirens flashing and alarms screaming. Red lights. The alarms go completely unheaded. It is as if the meaning of alarms has not been explained. The madness in the system is that the response to alarm is alarm.

I can see the dynamics the alarms are called to alert us to, pain, uncertainty, helpless struggling babies.

I can imagine the vicious circle. When you fight I run. When you feel alone and rush at me, I fight. When I fight you blame. When you blame I run. And so the dance builds with ever increasing intensity.

Feelings, needs and healing possibilities are ignored as the anger builds with reactivity be it passivity or aggression.

I can already see the potential for healing in the dance when the first You is uttered. I see my client’s pain and see them owning it. I see them take responsibility for it. I see them imagine through the defences of their partner to the wounded child and I imagine them feeling empathy, and the urge to reach out, and then actin on that urge. I see a healing drama.

I see the possibility of my client asking and offering new behaviours that are congruent with their own needs and ability. I imagine a dance of giving and receiving:

“I will listen. I want to be held. When I feel scared I want you to be soft and light. When I have the urge to run I will stop and be still. I want you to say you appreciate my work in the house. I want you to initiate love making. I will go on a run each night so my sleeping pattern might be better for our relationship. When I have the urge to blame I will request a time to talk and listen.”

These are my thoughts in the first few seconds of blaming.

The client has no inkling of what is possible. They are an alarm that is screaming. In the session perhaps for first time ever there is no alarm being triggered in response. (Either I am the listener, or I insist the couple takes turns to listen.)

They are in a raw state. The fury turns to calm.

~

This is by way of introduction to the main is that prompted me to write, that the image I see of healing in those first few seconds will take months to realise and during that time I have hope but they might not. There is a lot of trust I need to hold in this work while the clients may simply not have it, not have the experiences to base any trust on. No matter how much work we do to keep the therapeutic space “safe” it is not experienced as safe because the long held defence habits are removed and the rawness of old pain comes to the surface. Often as that pain is met with loving attention deeper wounds are revealed.

I am reminded of the three Ps in TA, Permission, Protection = Potency. For some reason I thought persistence was in there too! I need to hold on to my ability to manage a process that might well look like a ten car pile up on the motorway. How client centered is it when all they want to do is fight and blame and I work towards something different?

Scripts- the Role of Permission – by James Allen and Barbara Allen:

# Permission to exist.

# Permission to experience one’s own sensations, to think one’s own thoughts, and to feel one’s own feelings, as opposed to what others may believe one should think or feel.

# Permission to be one’s self as an individual of appropriate age and sex, with potential for growth and development. # Permission to be emotionally close to others.

# Permission to be aware of one’s own basic existential position.

# Permission to change this existential position.

# Permission to succeed in sex and in work; that is, to be able to validate one’s own sexuality and the sexuality of others, and to “make it.”

 # Permission to find life meaningful.

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Transference and Tele: Intro

In what some might call synchronicity I came across Mesmer’s (W) animal magnetism in two separate contexts today.

Firstly, in “Transference, Countertransference And Tele: Their Relation To Group Research And Group Psychotherapy [Word Doc] in Psychodrama Vol II by J.L. Moreno and then again in:

A podcasted radio program from WNYC on the Placebo effect.

Both these sources tie in with much of what I am writing about in this blog on the science of relationships, and specifically a current project on “parallel process” in supervision. It got me interested again in what Moreno calls tele. It is a word that will be with me, like it or not while I am involved with psychodrama (like the word psychodrama itself). I don’t like the word “tele” much, it seems to confuse everyone including me. The aim of this post(s) is to investigate tele, especially in relationship to, as in the title of Moreno’s lecture, to group research and group psychotherapy. I thought I’d make a summary of Moreno’s 1957 lecture chapter, and make responses.

Note: I continue to edit these posts, they are a work in progress for now, not really be good blogging practice. If anyone comments or there are track backs, I will not change what I wrote so conversations make sense.

I’ll start with quoting the Intro in full, make some comments and do more posts later, a series: Transference and Tele (tag).

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Abraham Maslow’s 1957 Alfred Korzybski Lecture

I have just read this lecture, and it is really nice.

Maslow (W)

The Conclusion to Abraham Maslow’s 1957 Alfred Korzybski Lecture follows:

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A comparison of psychoanalytic and psychodramatic theory

A comparison of psychoanalytic and psychodramatic theory from a psychodramatist’s perspective – Counselling Psychology Quarterly:

A comparison of psychoanalytic and psychodramatic theory from a psychodramatist’s perspective Abstract A comparison of Freud’s and Moreno’s theories with regard to their implications for psychodrama therapy. Basic differences in the theories are discussed with special regard to therapist role, transference and tele, insight and catharsis, the time concept, the body, and developmental psychology. Other topics treated are concepts of drive or energy, psychic structure and role theory, psychic determinism contra the doctrine of spontaneity-creativity and differences between an intrapsychic and an interpersonal approach. An outline of the relationship of psychodrama and its philosophy and practice to other schools of psychotherapy is given.

[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Lars Tauvon – Citation”]Author: Lars Tauvon DOI: 10.1080/09515070110092316 Publication Frequency: 4 issues per year Published in: journal Counselling Psychology Quarterly, Volume 14, Issue 4 December 2001 , pages 331 – 355 Subjects: Counseling; Psychiatry & Clinical Psychology – Adult; Formats available: PDF (English) Article Requests: Order Reprints : Request Permissions Single Article Purchase: US$30.00[/stextbox]

I’ll see if I can get this through the library.

Later

Yes I got it as a member of the Canterbury Public library, here.

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Robert Anton Wilson – Korzybski prophet


Larger Image

The link journey continues and, as some may have known, we meet Robert Anton Wilson on the way. A Korzybski prophet it would seem. Not as mad as he might appear. General Semantics has psychology spouting in all directions. And of interest to me is the whole question of the relationship of physics and psyche ( my article The Future of Knowing in a pdf.

(PS the image is one I made from photos using software.)

Links to books follow.

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A generally semantic journey

I have enjoyed some of the writing and audio from Al Turtle a relationship therapist. I get an RSS feed of his updates and today found a link to his favourite books. Great idea!

I found a ebook of A. E. Van Vogt’s The World of Null-A, non-Aristotelian logic in SF form. I see that this is not a one-off in Al’s list! He is into General Semantics – intrigued I went off on a search trail.

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Psychotherapy… following the psyche

Following the client is the essence.

Letting go of all ideas about a solution to a problem.

The pattern of behaviour or situation what we draw attention to, not the particular behaviour.

The pattern is something that can be transformed at any instance of it. Status Nascendi is the most potent instance, but only if the person is ready to go, trust their pace.

The situation the client chooses to work on for that pattern is up to them, that is where we follow them, to that place where they are most ready to go.

This way the person is less likely to blame or place the experience onto another person.

And if they do…

“Focus on your experience, in this moment, your pain, your anger, your sense of injustice. Stay with that.”

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How to end Psychotherapy

60 Percent Of Psychotherapy Clients Felt Therapy Didn’t End On Time

This article makes sense to me from my experience.

Time is such a critical factor in psychotherapy, beginnings, middles and especially endings. People often want to wean off therapy by coming les frequently. I discourage that and suggest we make a focus & work on a good ending. Even so there are false endings! People come back for another go at it.

In Psychotherapy Online my experience is different. I have a more flexible time frame for “appointments”, while I stick to a maximum of one hour sessions for my email responses, the work can also be spread out in smaller exchanges and because I don’t need to make calendar appointments for email work there is a flexibility that finds its way into making a more natural ending as well.

In general, clients who reported that termination was on time were more satisfied with their therapy. Factors contributing to positive feelings about termination included perceiving the experience of termination as an expression of independence, reflection of positive aspects of the therapeutic relationship and a reflection of positive gains experienced in therapy.

“Results suggest that clients find terminating psychotherapy at the right time important and yet difficult to achieve, and that clients experience a wide range of feelings, many positive, during the termination phase, which call for a reconceptualization of the role of the therapist during this important phase of psychotherapy.”

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