Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Simulations for Planning

Originally posted on January 31, 2018

Of late I realize that I have transcended therapeutic role playing—psychodrama, drama therapy, etc.—and moved towards thinking that all of this is beyond therapy. It applies also in wrestling with the challenges of re-visioning new fields, re-visioning how to develop skills.

I have left medicine, left psychiatry, left the whole medical model where some people are patients, and as such, sick; other people know what’s not-sick and offer to “help”—or are even charged with imposing on patients who are deemed crazy-sick.

But I’ve left my role as a doctor and my major role is promoting the idea that role playing, simulations, enacting, practice, is about many things quite beyond "therapy"—doing something for / to people who are / consider themselves / are considered by others  as "sick". But I’m aware that we have a whole vehicle that needs to be taken out of the medical model (or in part, should not be confined to just treatment), and recognized that enactment, reality practice, etc. belongs to a wide range of complex skills.

Top generals and people of that rank know that situations are highly complex, and as such, simulations are needed—because highly complex situations are an order of magnitude or two beyond merely complex events. People who we thought “should” know are recognized as not being smart enough to anticipate all eventualities—and they know this. This fact is again a whole order of magnitude different!

Some things are so very complicated that no human being can “know”! So to cope, simulations minimize losses. For the military, “war games.” For smaller problems that are equally problematic, other simulations. Even better, enhancing them by doubling or asides demonstrates what’s going on in the mind  of  the actor. That is, enhanced simulations is a good training tool beyond the medical model, beyond the goal of trying to "fix" people. This is the latest inspiration, or “bug in my bonnet.”


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