The term “group centered” is used in Australia and New Zealand psychodrama circles with respect to warm-up and also with respect to the drama itself.
Firstly with respect to the drama. I recall Max Clayton’s teaching when the group was under the misapprehension that sociodrama was always group centred i.e. without a specific protagonist, and psychodrama always had a protagonist. He then demonstrated a protagonist centred sociodrama, i.e. one based around the social roles in one person’s work situation. On rare occasions, I have seen a group centered psychodrama, one that began as a sociogram. An isolate emerged and the group then worked collaboratively with that person to include them.
With respect to warm-up, I am familiar with the usage where a “director directed warm-up” is contrasted with a “group centered warm-up”.
I have found a passage in “Who Shall Survive?” where Moreno talks about “centeredness.” and his usage is a bit different.
I doubt that we would use “leader centered” for psychodrama. If there is a psychodrama, then it is based on the group or the protagonist as the central focus. Emergent psychodrama sounds interesting but is not related to this discussion as far as I can see. I imagine all our groups are “group centered” in the way the word is used in the passage from “Who Shall Survive?” Even director directed warm-ups lead to group or protagonist centered psychodrama.
What has sparked my interest in this linguistic exploration is that I have been working with couples in groups in a variety of ways. I want to use the words “relationship centered psychodrama”. I think there are many ways to be “relationship centered”. I think more exploration is needed as being protagonist centered can run counter to the needs of a couple. I am writing another post on relationship centered psychodrama as I research the variety of ways this can be done and also the way Moreno tackled this in the past.
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.
(Moreno, 1977: vii)
Moreno, J. L. (1977). Psychodrama (Volume One, Fourth ed.) Beacon, New York.
I wrote a post on Freud’s birthday once before.
that was 2006. I wrote a few more after that. And I’d like to mention this one, 2018, 12 years after the other one:
Freud and individualism in the 20th century
I changed my tune on Freud.
I’ve been imagining the world lately as if there is no unconscious just people in action. Moving in the moment. Its hard to do, but an interesting process.
Playing with Moreno’s idea that the psyche is outside the body.
We are born into a pattern of relationships.
This pattern influences us deeply.
It has a tendency to repeat and persist.
This brief summary is the basis of psychotherapy, of the unconscious and we work with these patterns in psychodrama. I’m pleased with the crisp summation. I’m satisfied that it captures the relational nature of our being. The relationship nature of the unconscious, or self. It is alive as this pattern “repeats and persists”. And does so even as repair and grapple with the tendencies as they persist.
However the summation is not as soulful or as wild as the process.
Continue reading “We are born into a pattern of relationships”
A series of six prints on thick A2 cotton paper selected from
Gallery — Earth Crosses
The Earth Crosses images are a series that began as my Thousand Sketches project ended. The last image of the 1000 was #1000 Departing Force and it is part of this exhibition.
The images are a dialogue between the horizontal and the vertical. Opposites. All the images in the series are square. The vertical, perhaps the landscape, has as much space as the horizontal, perhaps the portrait aspect. Think dialectics, yin yang. I expect I’ll get to elaborate on the opening night. (Date TBA)
“The idea that knowing changes reality is what quantum physics shares with both psychoanalysis (for which interpretation has effects in the real) and historical materialism”.
Slavoj Žižek – quoted on Redit
That is a great little paragraph!
Medium article by Paul Austin Murphy
A useful read!!
I wish they had an inkling of Moreno in these discussions — psychodrama fits in more tightly than “psychoanalysis.”
Interesting the extent to which Bohm was influenced by dialectical materialism:
“In this way Bohm understood it as idealistic. In Bohm’s interpretation, however, the particle possesses at all times a well-defined position and momentum regardless of observation or associating ideas. So, in Bohm’s view, matter came before mind in his theory. Thus he called his interpretation a materialistic one.4 With this materialist interpretation, Bohm wanted to expel mysticism from physics.”
Dialectical Materialism and the Construction of a New Quantum Theory: David Joseph Bohm, 1917–1992
✔ July 2021
I found this video by Elliott Connie useful! Elliott is a Solution Focussed Couple therapist.
Bud, a psychodrama colleague recommended the video, on Shane Birkel’s Facebook page.
Here a a bit of Bud’s summary:
… the vital importance of the difference between a goal for therapy and a desired outcome. He discuses it in the context of working with a couple who appeared to have mutually opposing or exclusive goals.
What a simple idea, and perhaps something we already know in an illusive way. Elliott’s teaching and examples in the video are just excellent.
$1,000,000 = Goal
Peace of mind = Outcome
Gets me thinking… he is showing us an example of assisting people to deeper into their being and sharing more. I like the SF questions.
I wonder if couples themselves using the universal space opening question: “Is there more?” would go from the goal to the outcome?
That way couple can do their own deep listening, with one question: Is there more?
This can be done – partner to partner. If they succeed they may get more confidence and hope for their relationship.
If they don’t… it is good for the therapist to have SFT at the ready.
Do watch & listen to the video!
We binge watched Wild Wild Country with great interest.
I have been intrigued by Bagwhan since the 1980s. I went quite a few workshops in Freemantle, Western Australia… but never drank the cool-aid. No orange or mala. I knew there was controversy in Oregon. Just how awful it was is news to me. What went wrong? Guns for one thing. I hated that turn of events. Sheila?
I watched a short Osho video on YouTube and saw it clearly… Bagwhan is not really the problem as a person either… it is his philosophy!
What a lovely response to the journalists question “what is the purpose of all this?” Anything that has a purpose is mundane. His answer is really an deep reflection on ends and means. The philosopher shines thorough.
But there is an ugly side. He becomes a little scathing of the questioner. He is not “one of my people”. He is an outsider. And there it is, disdain for outsiders. With all the ‘enlightenment’ they could not relate to 50 locals. They took over that town in an arrogant way akin to the way those people had taken it from the native Americans. If they are not “my people” then they are not people at all.
That is the lesson for me in the whole thing… I know I can have that sort of disdain.
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.
Continue reading “Who we are”
I want to get this book.
The Fuse Box: Essays on Writing from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters – Victoria University Press
I heard about it in this excellent podcast: Kim Hill interviews Emily Perkins — Emily Perkins – Ibsen and The Fuse Box
Thought it might be fun to offer the protagonists in The Dolls House couple therapy.
Later Monday, 23 April, 2018
I’ve read nearly every item in the book and liked them a lot. One thing that struck me was how much creative writing talk relates to psychodrama directing. I’d recommend any director of drama to read the book. Probably would work for painters or musicians as well.