My deepest longing pushes against your most darkest resistance, and vice versa.
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
A passage from “Who Shall Survive?”
Continue reading “Spontaneity, Anxiety and the Moment — a passage from “Who Shall Survive?””
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.
Just read a post on John Frame’s blog on Serendipity.
… a strange force called synchronicity, or the coming together of things at one moment in time by that non-linear force called synchronicity. I argued how synchronicity might be related to the two greatest films in Hollywood and one of the most famous books in American history.
Lovely stories about great movies follow.
It made me thing about how drama work… how in psychodrama we use synchronicity – we don’t call it that, but we refer to making the sociometric matrix visible.
Synchronously I was just uploading my 1999 thesis to this blog. I read it through the other day and I was quite pleased with it. I am working with trainees who are writing psychodrama thesis. And it seems to do what I teach now.
Have a clear topic and audience. The central “thesis” needs to be present throughout.
Imagine the task of the group leader when faced with diverse individuals and how this might conﬂict with the desire to have coherent group life.
Join me as a systems thinker, becoming aware of the inter-relationships in the group, to be able to use the imagination to see the life of the group and the life of individuals.
In art, poetry and psychodrama things come together…
I’m working on a handout on action for a Psychodramatic Couple Therapy Training event in September. Psychodrama is sometimes mistakenly called an “action method”. That might mean people move about. That they exhibit behaviour. The real question is: are they actors? That is, agents in their own life!
The action includes: the body, emotions, thinking, the breath, the spirit, the soul, the chi, life energy, prana. In psychodrama language that is spontaneity-creativity.
Here are two quotes:
The organism-in-environment is a behavioral system; the actor in situ is an actorial system, and, Moreno (1953b) states, it is important to distinguish between the two. A collectivity of actors is a different entity from a collectivity of organisms and has a different meaning.
Warner (1954) points out that from Moreno’s perspective, when one tries to understand behavior by separating an action into components, as the psychologist does, one ends up ignoring the most important characteristics of human behavior, social interaction. Acts, actions, and interactions are complex behaviors that are intended to gain a desired goal. They occur within a cultural context. There is a reciprocal relationship between the members of a group and the group’s culture. On the one hand, it is the actions of the members that create the culture of the group and on the other hand the culture of the group shapes the actions of its members.
Meyer writes, “The heart of Dr. Moreno’s sociometric method is action. Time and again in the writings of this book and elsewhere, he insists that sociometric methods require that individuals cease to be subjects for research, patients in the clinic, or objects of reform. They must become participants” (1952, p. 360). Sociometric research, Moreno insisted, is for the benefit of the people involved, not for the benefit of the researcher. Therefore, the subjects should be included in the design of the research, in the selection of criteria, for example. Sociometry should take place in life, in the real situation of the individuals, not in the
laboratory of the scientist. Unless the sociometric experiment includes an activity in which the group members partake, it is, at best, “near sociometric.” Sociometry is an action method.
It is worth meditating on the words of Moreno — especially how they might apply to couples.
An action matrix registers acts and events . A behavior matrix registers “observations” of acts and events . The actor must become an observer of himself and an actor towards the observer, i.e ., the observer must become an actor towards the observed and an observer of himself ; one must co-act with the other, a meeting is taking place . In an ongoing socio-psychodrama the subjective view of the actor and the objective view of the co-actor are one, they are on the same plane . Indeed, as … auxiliary egos to each other on the plane of action the degree of their reciprocal subjectivities and objectivities are continuously in a process of mixture; A acts towards B, B acts towards A; A observes self and acts towards B, B observes self and acts towards A ; A observes A, B observes B ; A observes A and B, B observes B and A ; A acts towards C, A acts towards B and C, C acts towards B and A, etc . A genuine theory of action and actors deals with actorial categories and interaction potentials like spontaneity, creativity, the warm up, the moment, the meeting, … auxiliary ego and other categories which express the coexperiential level of an actor’s world on the level of action .
Moreno “Who Shall Survive?” p74
Some notes about Action & couple therapy
How does work when we are working with the relationship? The “third entity”?
Not “male female” but role systems — unity of opposites unity and opposites.
The protagonist will transform the and the auxiliary will transform
Action is to do with being actors — active participants.
If there is ambivalence about the relationship — Discernment therapy.
Individuation is always needed