Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Psychodrama

“Clues of Trust and Common Values”

A recently-published book by Prof. Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading in England, is titled Wired for Culture: origins of the human social mind (London and New York: W. W. Norton, 2012). I was struck by his conclusion: “The key (to the message of this book) is to provide or somehow […]

“Nonverbal Awareness”

What else can I call the mental alertness to one’s own nonverbal behavior. There are those who are attentive to their appearance regarding make-up, hair-do, clothes, but few people pay attention to the way they behave: Check out posture, eye angle, length of eye contact, tendency to smile or frown, etc. Let it be a […]

“Trauma”

This has become a bit of a catch-word: It catches you. It says, “This was really painful for the client.” But I confess that I rather wince with the term, as if all psychopathology was due to trauma and no one’s responsible for anything. I’m vulnerable in speaking up because of course some people are […]

“Truth” in Psychotherapy

The idea that one theory for mind is true and the others less so is based on an idea that truth is one, whereas I think it likely that what’s true for one “level” may not be true for other levels or categories. What works for    elementary arithmetic may not be true for psychology. It’s […]

“Vivification”

Here’s a term I just coined for vivifying what’s going on, highlighting it in a somewhat dramatic fashion. There is a spectrum of liveliness that one can bring to an experience. Drama does this, but, alas, the word “drama” tends to imply over-dramatization. Ideally, we should be aware that we can bring more or less […]

A Psychodramatic Story

(This is actually my condensation of an old Hasidic Jewish story attributed to the great story-teller and mystic, Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav, who was active in the first third of the 19th Century in what is now Byelorus, but was then the "Pale of Permitted Jewish Settlement" west of Moscow. I used this as an […]

Action Explorations

This is my term for a class of activities that used to be lumped with drama, psychodrama, applied drama—e.g., my anthology on Interactive & Improvisational Drama. I’ve changed my mind, though—I think it’s better to call this category “action explorations”—or, as an alternative, “exploratory enactments.” I am re-writing my two major books on psychodrama, updating […]

Action Explorations

This is a term I give for non-therapeutic psychodrama. It’s a new term, a new “field.” Really, it’s psychodrama applied to non-clinical problems or, indeed, n0t problems at all! In it’s old form of “psychodrama” (about which I wrote several books and countless articles), it is also applicable in another way. While as psychodrama, it […]

Action Explorations Explained

It seems that psychodrama has two roles in modern culture: (1) psychodrama may be used as “therapy,” or (2) it may be used quite apart from therapy, to serve other goals of consciousness-raising. In business, education, personal development, role training in industry, for conflict-resolution, play, and so forth, what I call “action explorations” applies psychodramatic […]

Action Explorations or Psychodrama as Research

Although “research” tends to be associated with a more restrictive process—attempting to control many variables in order to see if varying one makes a difference—this approach applies more to only certain kinds of research—kinds that tend to be associated with things, material objects, chemistry, physics, biology. But if we recognize the word is more a […]

Action Explorations—The Term

It’s time now to break out of the medical model!  Although Moreno confined himself to the psychotherapeutic applications of simulations that he called "psychodrama"—and it could well be argued that it was appropriate he did so at that time—now it is even more appropriate for the method to gain some distance from the medical model. […]

Action Explorations: A New Category

I’m proposing a new category for thinking about and addressing collective challenges: “action explorations.” This term includes a variety of approaches that have in common the properties of enactment, improvisation, role, and story. One of the approaches within this category is psychodrama, but most dictionaries and many professionals think of this approach mainly as a […]

Action Explorations:The Book

I’m assembling an anthology of how improvised drama, Morenian methods and related approaches may be utilized far beyond their applications in psychotherapy. The book will be titled Action Explorations: Enhanced Simulations, and it will be used to spread the word and encourage applications of Morenian methods in non-clinical situations. Moreno said in his seminal book,  […]

Action in Education, Psychotherapy, and Life

The emphasis here is on physical enactment, direct encounter, as a way of being more involved than just talking about a topic. Admittedly, talking about is better than stifling, avoiding talking, avoiding being conscious at all. But action extends the process, makes it more holistic. One feels oneself more present and involved. Dr. Jacob L. […]

Action Methods

I use the term “action methods” to bridge several fields—or applications within fields—to raise the human potential. Psychodrama, drama therapy, educational drama, applied improvisation, maybe even Theatre of the Oppressed, Playback Theatre, etc. Action methods includes them all, transcends them! Perhaps it’s a new class for colleges, for people aiming at not college students but […]

Amplification in Group Work

People often lower their voice unconsciously in order to disqualify their own statements. It’s an expression of ambivalence: “Perhaps I shouldn’t be saying this.” There’s a gradient of disclosure from repression to shouting it from the highest hill:   – I can’t admit it to myself at all. Repression.   – I admit it secretly […]

An Exercise of Interpersonal Power

Here’s a way to discover how powerful you can be: Think of someone you know; and then, having thus thought, call that person and say, “Hi, I was thinking about you.” For a little extra credit, when you do think of that person, focus on some little thing they did, or that you did together, […]

Applied Drama: An Open Letter

There is a new field emerging that might best be called “Applied Drama” or “Applied Theatre,” but it doesn’t really know it yet. It’s a term for a wide variety of endeavors that use drama to promote personal and group consciousness. There are a few academic departments that use terms like these, but it still […]

Applied Improv and Drama

There’s a message / blog I posted on a new connection: The Applied Improvisation Network.  You can see it halfway down. It turns out there are over a thousand people so far exploring ways improvisation might be applied in a wide range of situations. Hurray! I’m hoping to find out more about this and perhaps […]

Applied Improvisation Berlin Conference

The Applied Improvisation Network is meeting in Berlin soon. The schedule of events suggests some of the meaty things they’re talking about. Note that the concepts of enactment, improvisation, and creative collaboration are being carried on with vigorously by thousands of professionals internationally. Most are theatre comedy improvisers seeking other sources of income and draw […]

Applying Moreno’s Ideals More Widely

Psychodrama has evolved, and it now has a number of “cousins,” including:    – theater artists, actors and directors who realize that improvisation has its own aesthetic, and beyond that, practical applications beyond the goal of entertainment—i.e., the applied improvisation network    – drama therapists who emphasize the healing power of creating something aesthetically compelling […]

Attraction

People are attracted to each other. There are scores of cues, and other factors. Does this person remind me of a favorite parent or relative that I bonded with? Or perhaps seems like the opposite of one that I despised? There are other factors, too, such as the degree to which I bought into or […]

Attraction Dynamics

A friend asked me—he having studied entomology— “Pheremones play a role in attracting males and females in some animals, it seems. How much attraction is there for people at this level and does it override thought processes when two people meet and form a first impression?    I responded: Great question. We so don’t know! […]

Beyond Psychodrama as “Therapy”

Many aspects grow out of psychodrama—not just psychodrama as “therapy.” That arena of application—therapy– dominates the field, though; obscures it! Instead, we should notice the many applications of the method beyond psychotherapy, what I choose to call Action Explorations! However, Moreno’s creations cross field boundaries, so that, for example, “Sociodrama” is now being offered by […]

Bringing Forth Others

It occurred to me that the art of bringing forth others’ creativity and fullness has become part of the role definition of many types of people-helpers—including parents, managers, teachers, spiritual directors and counselors of every type, personal coaches, etc. In the past, the job was simpler: For parents, get kids raised, fed, launched. For most […]