Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Current Events

Paradigm Shifts and Action Explorations

This blog poet also might be titled “Psychodrama Beyond the Medical Model.” Psychodrama is mostly used as psychotherapy, but a sizable component does not require the medical model! While psychodrama as psychotherapy is being squeezed out by evidence-based medicine, let’s let Moreno’s work find new life as “creativity expansion” or “action explorations.” This opens to […]

Passover—a New Interpretation

Those interested in spirituality—in any religion—often seek to make that which is traditional more relevant. Some thirty or more years ago I was impressed by a Passover “Seder” or special ritual dinner in which the host re-interpreted the process of remembrance not from the perspective of a more ethnic or national group, but rather as […]

Peace and Quiet

It seems to me that the consumerist, competitive, marketing-oriented thrust of our culture has been upping the intensity of stimulus, towards excitement, towards “full flavor,” adding salt, sugar, alcohol, hot-pepper-spices, loudness of music, brightness of colors, degrees of whirling, and vertigo not just with roller-coaster-rides, but by extension, even simulated rides in theme parks or […]


Peacemaking wasn’t known in the olden days. Peace was just surrender, a temporary unwillingness to fight, which meant to be dominated. Small-time kings bought off predatory emperors by taxing their people. Peace-making didn’t happen between equals except as temporary truces. The business of kings and emperors was conquest. There were whole castes given over to […]

Perspectives on “Mental Illness”

Things have changed: Different types of “mental illness” need to be discerned. Certainly the history of medicine includes as a them the recognition that, for example, some diseases that seemed to be infectious were actually due to nutritional deficiency—such as pellagra. Similarly, a number of major mental illnesses such as “dementia paralytica” that was a […]

Postage and Online Journals

I received a link to a foreign e-journal—it’s in Roman type as well as in the foreign language. But the point is that I am impressed with the idea of an e-journal itself, which may easily outstrip the idea of the printed journal within a decade. In some ways I regret this, because I was […]

Postmodern Vocabulary: Logocentricity, Marginalization, Privilege, etc.

New words can help us think clearly about new concepts. It isn’t that we’re just trying to be fancy. Old words don’t address the meaning at all. For example, here are some words that help me think about new trends: Logocentricity is a word that suggests that someone speaks in a mode of discourse (or […]

Postmodern Words—But Useful

I confess that reading postmodernist tracts is confusing and annoying—they assume the readers know their jargon. If that were true, they are truly preaching to the choir, as the saying goes. Still and all, there are some new words that I’ve found to be useful, valid, and worth spreading the word about. Logocentric: This word […]

Postmodernism Skewered

Bill Watterson, who wrote and illustrated the cartoon strip Calvin & Hobbs, noted that language itself can be obscure, and those who write about postmodernism are really good at being bad in this way. For example: Actually, I rather welcome many of the principles of postmodernism, but those who write in this genre often appeal […]

Pre-Hallowe’en (2017)

It’s late September and already I saw displays of spooky sculptures and candy and such at the local drug store! It’s a time to be something other than who most people think you are. Your dark side—just kidding! But it’s true that the mind is multi-dimensional and evil as well as good is accessible and […]


As we begin the debates and the next round of political jostling for public office, I’m reminded that I’ve been interested since my early teen years 65 years ago in propaganda, the way the newspapers and other media can and do distort the truth. The old term for this is “rhetoric,” and I think they […]

Pseudo-Psychodrama as Rhetoric

It pained me to see Clint Eastwood using the “empty chair” technique in a way that was absolutely not the way it was meant to be used in his speech at the Republican convention. Even if you’re for Romney, Eastwood’s misuse of this little dramatic technique was appalling. It’s hypnotic, you see. People kept “hearing” […]


I just received what I think was a spam email based on my web-blog posting 65 (a couple years ago) that was unusual. Usually they have a few general lines, but this character from Russia sent a lengthy paragraph: It illustrates how easy it is for politicians and others to say nothing while seeming to […]

Psychiatry History

Yesterday I put up some ideas about permeability that in their implications, metaphysically, may challenge the entire materialistic and positivistic paradigm of the modern era. Lest I seem grandiose, it’s only speculation. I might well be mistaken. But still, that’s my role, to fool around, to explore, to draw cartoons, dance, joke, get serious, get […]

Psychodrama: Changing Word Meanings

Words change their meanings over time. In the 1930s “gay” was carefree, but now it’s homosexual. I’m in a field that uses the term psychodrama—a type of therapy, mainly, that uses the activity of role playing to raise consciousness. But psychodrama as a word drifted into the mainstream and become a term for a situation […]

Re-Enchantment (Cultural Trends-Part 2)

This continues a reflection on “whassup?”—what cultural trends we may be in the midst of. I wrote in a previous blog about the emergence of creativity. Another trend, I think, is towards what I call re-enchantment, or perhaps a more precise (and non-existent) term might be re-mythologize-ation. (what a mouthful!).  It marks a swing back […]

Re-Thinking “Disorders”

I just read that "federal health officials" said that, using a wider screening for "autism spectrum disorders," guess what: more kids are picked up who fit the broader or looser criteria. Duh. If you loosen the criteria on anything, that increases the sensitivity to shades on what used to be the borderline and you’ll pick […]

Reflections on New Communications Tools

In a recent trip to California we used a GPS (geographic positioning system) as a new electronic device in our rental car and I was impressed with it. In combination with a cell-phone, we were able to navigate to some places (and in time for the appointment) that otherwise might have left me lost, exasperatedly […]

Reflections on the History of Consciousness

I’m sensing that we live in a time when changes are speeding up in so many ways. One “window” on change that I’m closer to is the history of medicine. Another “window” is the history of science. I was reading an interesting book that noted a literal shift in world-views, from a geocentric to a […]

Rehabilitating “Play”

Play isn’t just for kids: It’s the essence of experimentation. I know that in the past play is just kids’ stuff, frivolous. That’s the semantics, but gradually the word is getting rehabilitated. Innovation is “in.” People are promoting creativity, and we’re seeking to develop and sustain the underlying skills that lead to creativity. Guess what: […]

Responsibility Reconsidered

A friend wondered, “Why haven’t humans done a better job of taking care of themselves and the environment?” I responded, after a friendly greeting: “Fair question: Why have humans not done a better job? Answer: Species wise, homo not-so-sapiens is, as a species, fairly immature, emerging through several species levels over 1,000,000 years to be […]

Reunion Memories 1

Returned last week from my medical school reunion. A fascinatingly rich experience on many levels, and I’m still sorting it all out. One part involved my awareness that more than most groups, this was my social reference group, the people whom I measured myself against. That is, as a young man, I realize now I’d […]

Roman Numerals??

In the Newsweek of 2/14/11, that issue under the table of contents says, Volume CLVII, No. 7. I was struck by the idea that this re-modeled up-to-date newsmagazine was still using Roman Numerals. I wonder what their rationale is? I mean, Roman numeration  didn’t even know about the value of the zero! (The zero in […]

Scientism Criticized

Scientism is a term for applying the methods or criteria of science to assess whether something is true. It over-reaches, assuming that it is the only way to assess the usefulness of an idea. I think that scientism is wrong; while there are many things that merit being tested by science, there are other things […]

Scroog-enomics: A Book Review

Joel Waldfogel recently published a little book titled Scroogenomics: why you shouldn’t buy presents for the holidays. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (2009). The author presents results of his research showing what I’ve become aware of for years: Folks frequently get gifts that they don’t care for that much. The author finally suggests, why don’t […]