I am a psychodramatist and hence a student of the work of J.L. Moreno. And I hold his philosophy and methods to be revolutionary in the sense of having potential to heal humanity. There is an area of his philosophy and outlook where he comes short of the potential, it is in the conception of mass action and the macro forces that operate in the world. He lacks a good grasp of Marxism. And I think Marxism lacks the science of sociometry, the outlook of small groups.
Just added this to my Writing page.
Doubling, Spontaneity, Creativity and Encounter (docx) — Out of date (Saturday, 7 May, 2016)
Now working on a draft here in Google Docs
This is an article I’ve been working on since I presented something along these lines at 2014 AANZPA conference. Its about the value of doubling what is adequate in the protagonist. Doubling is not coaching, but assisting the protagonist to say what is in them in a way that it can be heard.
It takes further the ideas I came away with from the Dan Wile workshop. He says something like this: I assist the couple to heave the conversation they would have if they were not fighting.
See additional notes from 6 October 2012 Zerka Moreno on Doubling and Tele
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.
❊ 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
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.
And Neil Young comments on the same idea:
One ot the “Think Tank” recorded phone conversations.
I liked the one above, and so have now downloaded the first one, I think you can listen in any order:
Here is the publisher he recommends:
The website with the course he mentions:
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 an 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.
I am somewhat disturbed by the Hellinger material I read. However there new clarity around the creativity inherent in dialogue (see the last Bhom quote in this post.)
Here are two snippets which I find illuminating. Especially if we hold in mind that reality includes an observer.
No two people can have the same insight about the same thing. If they both have an insight about the same thing, that of one differs slightly from that of the other.
… when awareness meets awareness both are enhanced by the encounter.
That “enhancment” is the new, something is created.
Later: Sunday, 6 December 2015
Why two way sends are useful: difference – enhancement of the relationship – creativity i.e. Newness. Spontaneity? The Visitor/Host creates Love Maps, heals, and role development in the listener.
“Each person is participating, is partaking of the whole meaning of the group and also taking part in in it”
I am reading On Dialogue. Not sure where I got that quote from though, had it hovering here in some scraps. It is central to the idea that dialogue is NOT just exchanging information but CREATING something new, that that is common to the participants.
This idea has been central my understanding ever since I first participated in groups in the early eighties. I knew something was happening that was bigger than me yet fully connected. My Psychodrama thesis tries to articulate this ideas. Now it is here well expressed by David Bohm.
Listening is not just about “getting it”, it is also about doing something more. I am thinking of the Imago dialogue as I read the passage below from the first chapter: On Communication, page 3. Imago is about getting it, and the doing the Validation step, which is still not quite what Bohm is getting at. Perhaps the “difference” does not emerge until the response?
Nevertheless, this meaning does not cover all that is signified by communication. For example, consider a dialogue. In such a dialogue, when one person says something, the other person does not in general respond with exactly the same meaning as that seen by the first person. Rather, the meanings are only similar and not identical. Thus, when the second person replies, the first person sees a difference between what he or she meant to say and what the other person understood. On considering this difference, they may then be able to see something new, which is relevant both to their own views and to those of the other person. And so it can go back and forth, with the continual emergence of a new content that is common to both participants. Thus, in a dialogue, each person does not attempt to make common certain ideas or items of information that are already known to him or her. Rather, it may be said that the two people are making something in common, i.e., creating something new together.
But of course such communication can lead to the creation of something new only if people are able freely to listen to each other, without prejudice, and without trying to influence each other…
The full summary, validation & empathy steps seem important not just to exchange information, but to connect. To go beyond prejudice and trying to push an agenda requires the Imago steps.
Validation also leads to the creativity that Bohm is valuing. Validation involves making sense of the other while standing in their shoes, then facing them and saying you makes sense, and what makes sense is… seeing and experiencing how things hang together in their world. Understanding involves knowing how various things interconnect. To see the other persons world like that, and then to let them know how you see it may lead to encounter. Validation is a step towards encounter. Stepping into the other’s shoes and seeing the world differently may lead to new insights in the listener. The suspension of judgment is not to abandon ones judgment or perspective. There is an internal encounter… material for the next response.
Validation operationalises what Bohm is calling creativity – and Moreno calls encounter.
I have linked to this quote before, I just noticed it again & saw it in a new light. In relationship to Moreno’s Canon of Creativity. I think the word “attention” is wonderful. Eastern traditions use attention in meditation, but what is attention? A Buddhist friend of mine said it is simply love. It is a mystery alright! I can put my attention where I will! Attention is intentional. Right now it is on the blinking cursor. A moment later on the song playing on the radio downstairs.
Attention & blessing are all forms of warm-up?