Categories
Psyche Psychodrama psychotherapy Relationships

What makes being in a couple different from being in other relationships?

A couple is truly a couple when the hitherto hidden dimensions of pain surface in the relationship. The couple may not see it, but there is an interconnected web of role relationships that involve projections and yearnings from childhood.  Thus a defining aspect of couplehood is:

  • Connections at a primal wounds

Of course there are other aspects of couplehood:

  • Love
  • Sexuality
  • Children
  • Intimacy
  • A wedding ceremony
  • Significance
  • Familiarity
  • Shared memories
  • Commitment
  • Domestic life
  • Social reality & recognition

Some of these will apply and some may not.

The crucial aspect of couplehood is an uncanny reciprocity of pain. Hedy Schleifer refers to the “deepest desires meeting the darkest resistance, and vice versa.”  This can appear like a disconnect, but it is the relationship doing its purposeful work, a profound connection.

Psychodrama refers to ‘the interpyche’ with an interplay of co-conscious and co-unconscious ways of being. Evocative and useful words. Imago relationship therapy has the word ‘imago’, a word meaning image, referring to the match of the unconscious dynamics involving the unmet needs from childhood, mixed with the love that was there.

One word for it: trouble!

Who wants it? Who knows how to get through this impasse when one person’s deep desires meet the other person’s fears? And vice versa. It gets harder as regression seeps in and our usual adult functioning goes out the window. I’d rather look at facebook or go for a walk.

There is another side to the story, trouble means opportunity. The ‘interpsyche’ is not so stupid!  This mystical third entity wove a web for us to climb through impasses. They are not impossible passes, we can get through, with help. And once through we continue the adventure with new vigour.

For the therapist it is easy! “Wow, you two are here, facing this trouble! Well done. This is normal, this is healthy, this is natural and right and you can work through this. Talk and listen. Listen with great care! Talk without blame. I’ll help you do it.”

Its is not so easy when you are in it. Love is blind, and so is trouble. Have a look at this feast of quotes about love: 90 Beautiful Love Quotes from Literature I wish there were as many beautiful quotes about the purpose of trouble as there are about the glorious magic of love.

 

Categories
Journal Psychodrama

Walter & Kate Personal Development Psychodrama Group

Kate and I conducted a regular Thursday evening psychodrama group. We have created a free online group since the pandemic to ‘hold the space’. I sent out a reminder for the event at 4:00 today and I thought I’d put it here on the blog. Part of my ‘Journal’ and also, for those in Christchurch who might like to join.

Here is the email

Categories
Philosophy Psyber Psychodrama Relationships

Is a system a “thing”?

Perhaps in an approach of the social universe we can learn from Democritus and close our eyes to the actual configurations social “matter” presents to us families, factories, schools, nations, etc. Perhaps a mind not distracted by the gross facts in society will be able to discover the smallest living social unit, itself not further divisible, the social atom.

 

J.L. Moreno “Who Shall Survive?” p 291

Categories
Psyche Psychodrama Relationships Science World

Moreno on studying society.

THE MATERIAL ASPECT OF THE SOCIAL SITUATION

The dynamic logic of social relations is particularly intricate and has remained unconscious with Man because of his maximal proximity and involvement in his own situation. For millennia therefore, the activities of human society perhaps have been a greater mystery to him than every other part of the universe. Because of their greater distance from him he could see the movement of the stars and planets, or the life of the plants
43
and animals, more objectively. Therefore, the science of human society is today hardly as far developed as physics and astronomy were in the minds of Democritus and Ptolemy. It takes enormous sacrifice and discipline to view and accept himself as he is as an individual man, the structure of the individual psyche, its psychodynamics; but the degree of invisibility of the structure of human society, of its sociodynamics, is much greater than that of the single individual. The effort of becoming objective toward the socius encounters many more obstacles than to be objective toward his own individual mind. The involvement of the ego he can still grasp, perhaps he can pretend to know it because it operates within him. The involvement of the socius, however, he cannot pretend to know as it operates outside of him; but it is an outside to which he is inescapably tied.

This is a quote from Moreno — SOCIOMETRY, EXPERIMENTAL METHOD AND THE SCIENCE OF SOCIETY AN APPROACH TO A NEW POLITICAL ORIENTATION
J.L. MORENO — Foreword by GARDNER MURPHY

The same paragraph appears in a different context in Who Shall Survive? P73.

Here are my thoughts about  this passage which I think has some important concepts and raises a question for another post:

    • “The dynamic logic of social relations is particularly intricate”

This might sound trite, but it shows how he is focused on the relationship, not the individual. Not like Freud, Jung and all those on that tree of thought, who were predominantly individualists, in theory and practice. And note the  words dynamic logic. Dynamic, moving changing, alive, and logic, something that makes sense, that can be grasped. Moreno wrote this in 1949 so this is written at the time of the upsurge of systems theory, cybernetics and the Macey conferences in New York. Maybe he was influenced by the zeitgeist of the time, or influenced it.

    • “…remained unconscious with Man because of his maximal proximity and involvement in his own situation.”

     

  • Unconscious. He uses the word unashamedly even though he is equally unashamedly anti Freud later in the same essay. The words maximal proximity are nice. McLuhan used the analogy of a fish not knowing what water is. It is because of the water’s maximal proximity to the fish. While so much is made of the bias of maximal proximity we see that for the study of humans Moreno turns this problem into the crucial advantage. Science is turned on its head, the group studies itself. Of course! Humans are explorers of space, of stuff outside of us, minimal proximity, so to study ourselves we have to make that inescapable maximal proximity a feature of the work.
    • “… the degree of invisibility of the structure of human society, of its sociodynamics, is much greater than that of the single individual. The effort of becoming objective toward the socius encounters many more obstacles…”

     

    The invisibility of the structure of human society is a phenomena.  Invisibility … we can see people, but not ‘systems’. someone famously said “you can’t kiss a system”.  Now the meditation on Moreno’s writing here gets interesting… note the title of the section:  The Material Aspect of the Social Situation.  So does the relationship, the network, have a material aspect?  What does that look like?  You can see two things but the relationship between them is a space.  The space between is a cherished notion in Imago Relationship Therapy.  I’m not sure how Moreno resolves these questions about the material aspect.  (I think I heard Timothy Morton talk sense on this. For another post.)

    The socius.   Another potent word.  He uses it as if there is a reality that exists. I think of his other wording: the sociometric matrix as being somewhat similar, if not the same.  The socius is similar and just as slippery as ‘the psyche’.

    •  “The involvement of the ego he can still grasp, perhaps he can pretend
             to know it because it operates within him.”

Note the word pretend. For Moreno it’s all roles. There really is no inner even though he uses that language here.

 

I’m looking forward to writing another post  on the whole section on the material aspect of relationship

 

Categories
Books Psychodrama

John Nolte – Three Psychodrama Books

The Philosophy, Theory and Methods of J. L. Moreno

Categories
Psyche Psychodrama

Alchemy of fragmentation.

 

The first of  7 Stages of Spiritual Alchemy

Calcination.

Calcination is the process of heating and decomposing raw matter – or in other words, breaking down parts of ourselves that are in the way of our own happiness. Often we’d rather be right or fulfill an idea of “perfection” than be truly happy, so we continue neglecting the exploration of ourselves.

The stage of Calcination represents the stage in our lives where we begin breaking down our egos, self-doubt, stubbornness, self-sabotaging behavior, pride, and arrogance, and put it aside so we can find out what is underneath.

That is such a powerful concept.  Notice how *heated* relationships can be — we might need to call the police even! Many times we need to heat and decompose matter, its not pleasant or pretty.

Consider that fragmenting?  The power of fragmenting.  I love composting, not a gardener, though I’ve had the urge to plant flax and natives.  How far do I need to break down?  The harder question is how does a relationship work with this alchemy.  How does fragmenting work? should we take turns?

Fragmenting in relationships?  Breaking everything down and letting the spirit of the relationship do its work?

Though its about chemistry… Google yielded some guiding words:

“its complex non-linearity and long delay characteristics.”

“The calcination zone temperature can be achieved by output feedback of input control variables, the error and the error correction.”

 

Calcination Symbols from https://soolahhoopsllc.tumblr.com/post/94500286722/calcination-symbols

 

 

 

 

 

The first operation in alchemical transformation. It is denoted by the symbol for the first sign of the zodiac, Aries.♈

 

 

The Raven is a symbol of the nigredo stage of alchemy. Nigredo, or blackness, in alchemy means putrefaction or decomposition. The alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher’s stone all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter. In analytical psychology, the term became a metaphor ‘for the dark night of the soul, when an individual confronts the shadow within.

 

 

And to add a sketch I did after the 2010 Christchurch earthquake.

And the feature image above…

Its a beautiful green image, what does it mean?  From Lonerwolf.com

 

Other alchemy stages on the list:

Separation. …
Conjunction. …
Fermentation. …
Distillation. …
Coagulation.

Categories
Psychodrama

Spontaneity

 

Spontaneity operates in the present, now and here; it propels the individual towards an adequate response to a new situation or a new response to an old situation. It is… the least developed among the factors operating in our world; it is most frequently discouraged and restrained by cultural devices.

Categories
Art Podcasts Poems Psychodrama Relationships

Let’s do something crazy, Something absolutely wrong

Waiting For The Miracle

Have had this song in my mind since the Theatre of Spontaneity group on Tuesday.

That was the group theme, ambivalence, sticking with the known.

I love the verse:

Ah baby, let’s get married
We’ve been alone too long
Let’s be alone together
Let’s see if we’re that strong
Yeah let’s do something crazy,
Something absolutely wrong
While we’re waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come

 

Lyrics follow

Categories
Featured Psychodrama

Personal Development Evening with Walter Logeman & Kate Tapley

Just updated our Workshop page.  Adding it here in the mainstream!

Weekly on a Thursday 6:30 to 9:00
Term Three,  2021

Five Thursday Evenings in September — 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Love. Living life to the full. Finding meaning. Global and spiritual matters. Conflict, grief and illness. Examine and be challenged by matters of importance to you in these evening workshops. You can expect to gain a deeper awareness of yourself and others. Learn to be spontaneous, courageous and effective in relationships. We will use psychodrama to explore themes relevant to you and the group. If you are in a couple relationship you are both invited to attend.

No previous group experience is necessary.

Categories
Featured Psyche Psychodrama psychotherapy Video

Psychodrama on TED talk with Jean Campbell

A simple, well structured, psychodrama.

This is a good example of how a psychodrama can be presented publicly.  Well prepared auxiliaries.

I thought this was well done.