Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

The Dramaturgical Model

Originally posted on March 27, 2018

I have been involved with psychodrama for 50 years and have written books about it. The idea of life-as-drama is intriguing. I have taught “psychological literacy” to senior adults and I realized another point about this: It’s time that practical psychology escapes from the clutches of academia! Practical psychology should be like reading and writing in this 21st century. The 20th century was a transition. The 19th century  started with widespread illiteracy! Psychology is a hundred years behind.
 
Actually, society hasn’t caught up with itself. Psychology is for everybody, and not for the college courses, where 82.4% is irrelevant to most hormone-addled later teens. (I gave a class on psycho-logical literacy for senior citizens in the not-too-distant past.)

The idea of theatre is intriguing, but in light of TV and other easily accessible tech-nologies, it may have little "draw," except for those doing the process. I’m remind-ed of the Beatles’ song, "Penny Lane," where the pretty lady’s selling poppies from a tray, and though she thinks she’s in a play, she is anyway. The dramaturgical model is useful that way: It offers the line, "Play the scene again and differently."  The process is what’s important, not the size of the audience.

The idea that a situation could be played again is a breakthrough. It implies that behavior, sales pitches, strategies for arguments, can be run again and improved, is what’s innovative. It counters the artificial device of “this is your one and only big chance” that we are taught is the norm for society. Sometimes it is, but often it is not! You can ask for do-overs!


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