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.

❊ the couch is in the stage
❊ 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

❊ productivity-creativity


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.

Transference and Tele: Section I, Transference

This is the second post while doing a close reading of Moreno’s lecture on Tele, “given by the author during his European journey, May- June, 1954.”

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.

First Post
Transference and Tele (tag).

Quotes from the lecture, some research on Google and my detailed comments follow.

Continue reading “Transference and Tele: Section I, Transference”

Good communication & Psychotherapy

I see two qualities as essential to psychotherapy:

  • The crucible of the relationship. This is formed through the engament process and framed by purpose, time and money agreements.
  • Attention to the unconscious. Work with dreams & transference (perhaps better but more obscurely phrased as the isomorphy of dynamics.)

I educate about communication in relationship. I have done it since the early 80s , but with my enthusiasm as I learnt to work more fully with the crucible & the unconscious, I took this aspect for granted. I have also wondered at times if I was too interventionist, thus creating unnecessary transference.

Right now I want to claim it as useful, important. It is right to teach cognitive psychological material if the client will benefit from that. Then comes the crucial question what to teach? What is in the manual? How to teach it?

Some principles:

Firstly the crucible, the therapeutic relationship and unconscious processes must come first, or there will be no sustained deep work.

The educative work can be integrated into the psychotherapy.

And what is worth teaching? This must be under constant review as just what is good communication an art.

Recently I discovered Marshall Rosenberg, the whole NVC system is worth learning. See my earlier post.

Dialogue process as taught by Harville Hendrix is worth knowing. Here is a description of the Intentional Dialogue by Dawn J. Lipthrott.

There are dozens of principles of good communication in Transactional analysis. They have become part of my being over the years but I leaned about them first in an out of print book by Hogie Wycoff. There is a paper on the net that covers some of that: The Theory and Practice of Cooperation. One that is central to this paper and good communication is the understanding of the Karpman triangle

One of the difficulties many people face is that rather than learning about effective communication they learn ideas about “positive thinking”, and even “assertiveness”. They so easily lead to problems. “Positivity” misused, can cover pain & lead to annoyance when others express pain. Such tools in the culture are readily used to cope, but they do not enable deeper connection, they do not allow needs to be clearly identified. “Assertiveness” misused, can prevent the attitude put forward by Rosenberg, that we focus the needs of both parties. Over coming the forces in the culture that foster poor communication is an essential part of psychotherapy in my opinion. As both Rosenberg and Wycoff point out many of these linguistic modes are based to sustain a culture of dominance and submission.

Teaching is most needed & relevant long before clients arrive for help. The arrive with psychological trauma of adverse relationships in their lives. They maybe in deep pain and not receptive to learning. Yet at those times we can model, re-frame in language that leads to insight. For example (and I’ll just offer one for now), when someone confuses think and feel, in the active listening the therapist can untangle it:

“I feel no-one loves me”

You think no one loves you, I imagine you feel sad when you think that.

Internet as Mirror of the Unconscious

Internet and Unconscious: The Psychic Interface by Peter Gomes

“The process of internet use becomes – in part – a dialogue with the Self – the united whole, the complete psychic entity of ourselves both personal, collective, conscious and unconscious – with the internet mirroring the unconscious, working on both a collective and personal level – with use affecting the process of individuation”

An article on the psyche and the net.

Later Sunday, 25 September, 2011

The link above seems not to work.

I’ve found it again – or something similar?) and it is now here too (see below)

Continue reading “Internet as Mirror of the Unconscious”