Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:


Recognizing Shame

I have two friends, Sheila Rubin, LMFT & Bret Lyon, Ph.D, who write about the dynamics of shame, and give workshops on this topic. It’s a basic theme in psychology and needs to be addressed. Many of those who really need therapy need also to treat their shame, as shame complicates their disorder. Many get […]

Regarding Psychotherapy Research

Efforts to offer research on psychotherapy are worthy, but there is an additional and rather fundamental problem: People range from low to high ego strength, and this variable—more than the severity of their "diagnosis"—that determines prognosis (i.e., the degree of response to a therapeutic intervention or healing). People with a generous number of compensatory skills […]

Replacing “Psychodrama”with “Enhanced Simulations”

Although I’ve given part of my life to promoting Moreno’s psychodrama, I don’t really like the word itself.  “Psychodrama” as a word has several implications. It suggests drama, a word that originally mean something done, enacted, rather than talked about, but has come to mean something heavy, “dramatized” for effect, given visual and dialogue cues […]

Role Theory

Role Theory is a user-friendly language for psychology. It should be taught when people are taught beginning psychology. People operate in learning whole clumps of things—“Gestalt” is the term use in German. The clump or Gestalt of human psychosocial behavior is the role. Although the role concept derives from the theatre—it’s a “dramaturgical” view of […]

Roots, Affiliations, and the Sense of Self

On my website I wrote about how the sense of self is an aggregate illusion, a feeling and complex of images that arise out of a goodly number of sources. Now I’ve realized that equally that our affiliations and identifications overlap with the categories of our roots and our preferred social networks. They are invisible […]

Sensitive Perception

What if some people are more sensitive than others, and pick up more stuff? We know about tetrachromats, a small minority of people who are sensitive to not three basic colors (like most people) but rather four (tetre) colors! This sensitivity allows for a richer perceptual field, more permutations than most people. What if this […]

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Lewis Carroll wrote two books in the mid-late 19th century, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass. (Lewis Carroll was his pen name; his real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Interestingly, a number of authors have had what’s called a nom de plume, a pen name.) Disney conflated those tw0 “Alice” […]

Social-Depth Psychology

J. L. Moreno developed a method called sociometry that involved more systematically asking people about their interpersonal preferences according to specified criteria. Diagramming the responses brings into view the intangible matrix of the social field. It operates in a way analogous to what a microscope does. But more, the social field thus exposed deserves attention […]

Sociometry Considered

“Sociometry” is J. L. Moreno’s term for evaluating many things about that which invisible—namely, our social network  Moreno observed something akin to x-rays, invisible social attractions and repulsions, and he proposed measuring this phenomenon. It turns out that many physical objects detected and theorized by science are hardly fully accounted for—like quarks and gluons. The […]

Some Facets of Depth Psychology

  Depth psychology is my term for the complex of approaches that attend to the way that unconscious processes are a significant determinant in human behavior.  In the 20th century, Freudian and post-Freudian psychoanalysis was the most prominent exemplar, even early in that century Jung and Adler broke with Freud and pursued their visions—equally partaking […]

Spectro-Psychography II

For some time I’ve been thinking about how there are so many things that are best thought about as as spectrum, from too little to just right, to too much. I hinted at this in my post yesterday and wrote about this also on my website Another boost to this idea was the work my […]


An acquaintance of mine, Dr. Bernard Beitman, wrote a book recently titled Connecting with Coincidence. Beitman is a forward-looking psychiatrist who investigates synchronicity —better known as coincidence, but taken more seriously. The book recalls to mind the passing notion that we are not at the top of the hierarchy of mental prowess, but more somewhere […]

The “Garden” as Metaphor for Selecting Friends

Only a few people resonate that much with our interests, so we should disclose ourselves more fully only to those who seem to care. Young children cannot understand this. (And it took me too long to figure this out—well through my college years and beyond!) I’ve found the following metaphor serves as a mental filtering […]

The Conundrum of Consciousness

I am fortunate to have a few acquaintances who think deeply about conundrum of consciousness. The word is “qualia”—how it “feels”—how it’s “experienced”—addressed in part by the philosopher Thomas Nagel, in 1974: “What is it like to be a bat?”  … and the problem in my mind resolves somewhat when one hypothesizes that consciousness is […]

The Evolution of Beauty

I found a book by a fellow who appreciates bird songs, Professor Richard O. Prum, who wrote a book called The Evolution of Beauty (New York: Doubleday. 2017). What struck me about the book is that Beauty is a transcendental quality vaguely describable by humans, but it really belongs to the 8th dimension. This requires […]

The Gestalt Function

There’s a function of the mind called “Gestalt” that’s not “Gestalt therapy” but rather the innate tendency to see meaningful patterns in what is perceived. The mind tends to see things as wholes. Shown a series of still pictures quickly enough, it generates the illusion of motion (and from this, movies and television). The Gestalt […]

The Higher “I”

I’ve become increasingly aware that I’m only part-way between me and not-me. There are parts of me that are spontaneous, and realistically speaking I should not take credit for these parts or their products. I’m tempted to say, like Jack Horner in the nursery rhyme, “Oh, what a good boy am I!” But a couple […]

The Higher Unconscious

The unconscious is not less conscious but more! It’s not just pushed down; it’s not just “Let’s not look at what we’re doing,”—i.e., repression—but rather what we’re doing you couldn’t begin to understand! What if the unconscious is super-con-scious and much faster and more clever than you can be. Some of it is influenced by […]

The Imponderable Nature of Mind

Psychotherapy is a mixture of the brain and the mind; the hardware (or, more accurately, “wet-ware”) and the programming; temperament and innate types of intelligence and all the habits we’ve picked up from our culture and family and, later, friends and teachers. It’s a mixture of innate tendencies and the conditioning of the era, the […]

The Mind-Field

There’s everything we think is material, and then there’s the mind-field, which is inestimably vaster. It involves the (many?) dimensions of consciousness, including our own levels and probably fuzzing into hyper-consciousness. It probably fuzzes into hypo-consciousness, the qualities of mind of a leaf or a cell or a virus or maybe even a grain of […]

The Minions of Mild Villainy

I was reminded of this archetype also in this summer’s Computer-Graphic Cartoon movie, Minions.  I liked the theme that simple minded folks (the cute lil’ Minions) happen to love the energy put out by someone who exhibits a strong sense of triumphant malevolence. A good villain is appealing in a weird way. In my childhood, […]

The Self Illusion

Recently I was pleased to discover a book with this title written by Bruce Hood, a professor of Developmental Psychology in Society at the University of Bristol, England. Subtitled “how the social brain creates identity,” (Oxford University Press, 2012) this book brings forth a good many aspects of psychology that are evaluated from the viewpoint […]

The Spectrum of Imaginative-ness

Imagination is a basic function of human mind, a definite human potentiality. Most folks hardly exercise it, because we’re taught to get real as we head off to school. Of late, we’ve come to value creativity, and imaginative-ness is a component. Imaginativeness operates in many dimensions, as does mind: Spirituality, dreams, the arts, every day […]

The Super-Conscious “Unconscious”

It occurs to me that it’s possible that what people call the unconscious mind is at least partially super-conscious. It isn’t repressed so much because it’s nasty and we don’t want to think such thoughts, but rather the things it’s thinking are so subtle that they can’t be recognized, or so subtle that there are […]

The Truth of Truth (or Is It Delusion?)

“Aha, it all comes clear!” Such is the compelling feeling of what I heard called an “epiphanous delusion” that is a hallmark of paranoid schizophrenia. (See the Wikipedia on Apophany.) Or mystical insight. Or for that matter, any compelling insight or convergence of notions. Some of these can seem crazy to others, and some indeed […]