Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:


Change the World!

I confess that I think that if people could use just a few techniques developed originally in psychodrama, it would indeed change the world! Let’s not argue yet; consider first some of the following: Admit Ambivalence People will not only seem more authentic to others, but will be able to work with mixed feelings or […]

Changes in “Therapy”

Moreno’s vision was for "all the world;" but psychotherapy has been becoming far, far more expensive—at least in the USA—pricing itself out of the market of anyone not diagnos-ably "sick" and helped by payments from health insurance. Happily, more de-facto “pseudo-therapists” in the guise of  “coaches” are cropping up with little quality control over qualifications. […]

Collaborative Creativity through Psychodrama

The drawing below represents my vision of the way people can join in co-creating a more loving and joyous universe. Although two people are shown, and the symbol of encounter is between them, really any number can co-create. They are different—they offer their own angles on whatever is in formation. There is a playful liberation […]

Combating Stereotypes About Psychodrama

The term is being misused! The word, “psychodrama” is applied by journalists to describe any sort of emotionally-laded complex situation. Actually, it’s a method for problem-solving that involves improvised role playing. People play mainly themselves or others in various of their own life situations. The goal is not to entertain any audience, but rather as […]

Creativity Development

Using action explorations are a tool for aiding in creativity development. It may or may not have some therapeutic applications for those who have even a moderate degree of initiative. Action explorations can or may help to meet problems or predicaments in a new way. We’re offering empowerment, liberation, in a world where I don’t […]

Creativity Enhancement

I’m turning away from psychodrama as therapy and more towards "creativity enhancement.” That is to say, I’m turning more towards the use of psychodrama in non-therapeutic environments! I call this shift “action exploration,” rather than ‘psychodrama’ because it is not really “psycho” only, but also “socio”; it is often not dramatic in the sense that […]

Creativity Enhancement

Action Explorations are really just using psychodramatic methods and related approaches as tools for enhancing creativity, in business, community-building, education, even developing spirituality. Applied beyond the context of psychotherapy, though, I prefer using the term “action explorations.” In other fields, creativity itself  is being recognized as a valuable dynamic in producing ever more useful innovations. […]

Creativity Stimulation

There’s a new technology that derives from drama and theatre, and more particularly improvised theatre. Its goal is creativity stimulation. We’ve been building creativity for a few centuries, and in the last few generations promoting creativity itself has become a goal. Now we have a technology for it:   1. Get people together sharing and […]

Culposcopy: Assessing Guilt

I was emailing with a friend and mentioned culposcopy—meaning colposcopy—I misspelled it. (It’s a gynecological procedure.) But my pal, Dr. James M. Sacks, who is both playful and wise, had the following take on it and I thought it was witty enough to post (with his permission): Dear Adam, Some of your best serious ideas […]

Don’t Watch It—Do It!

The number of screens is multiplying—movies, television, hand-held electronic devices, e-books, computer “games”—all “shadows on the wall,” illusions seductively fashioned to offer a hyper-reality, “bigger than life,” more wonderful than anything puny you could actually do yourselves. You can partake of this far more excellent world while in fact in your actual body-mind turning into […]

Doubling for Empowerment

I was struck by a workshop announcement that included the following questions: “How do we hold fast to our values and stand up for our beliefs, when telling the truth often challenges the very systems which surround and govern our daily lives? As healers or clients, how can we claim our deepest beliefs and find […]

Doubling: Helping to Express the Unspeakable

Sometimes poets and songwriters say well what one can hardly express.  A successful poem or song can express more poignantly, or beautifully than people’s more mundane feelings and thoughts.  I’m reminded of a verse by a song sung by Roberta Flack in the 1970s, “Killing Me Softly:” “I heard he sang a good song, I […]

Download My Books for Free

I’m giving away three of my books for free as PDF downloads: Foundations of Psychodrama, Acting In, and The Art of Play

Drama in Everyday Life: A Type of Vital-Mind

Drama is a vitalizing dynamic. What is essential is the expression of exaggerated emotions—triumph, joy, fear, vulnerability, fear, protest, lust, greed, shame—all the colors of the rainbow. Civilization has rightfully demanded a modulation of these, but as with most social trends, driven by unintelligent minds that want simple and final answers, it overshot the mark. […]

Drama Therapy and Psychodrama: How They Belong

Last month I responded to an email announcing a workshop for psychodramatists and other creative arts therapists titled “Where Do I Belong?" I wrote: You belong in the ranks of the cultural creatives, those seeking to help promote the transformation of consciousness on this planet. We’re at a tipping point of learning how to re-integrate […]

Dream Dynamics

For a few minutes between deep and eventful dreaming and full awaken-ness, I discovered myriads of fragments of old dreams, vivid but partial scenes! They were  extracts from dreams over scores of years! Reflecting on these, I had several insights: (1) Mind permeates multiple realities, and ordinary consciousness just skims the surface; (2) we live […]

Effective Teaching

I am proposing experiential approaches, learning by doing. A colleague a few years ago called my attention to this statement in the New York Times: “It doesn’t work if it’s not moving,” said Mr. Rodenbeck, the head of Stamen Design, a San Francisco studio that Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all used for help in […]

Elementary Arts Education

So much of arts education seems to be targeted at an audience as an act of impressing people: See how good I am. Okay, there’s a place for that. But what occurs to me is that doing expressive arts may involve several levels of competence and talent, and only the upper levels—the ones requiring talent […]

Enactment & Improvisation

While the psychodrama community seems to be knowledgeable about the history of psychodrama, it seems that many are hardly aware of the developments in related fields. The same might be said for people in those related fields: drama therapy; drama in education; improv in business and organizations; Theatre of the Oppressed; Bibliodrama; Spontaneity development in […]

Enhanced Simulations

I’ve been that rare breed of psychiatrist who did psychotherapy, but I’m growing away from that role. As I’ve done so, it recently became more clear to me that psychotherapy is really a lesser application of a broad field that I call "Enhanced Simulations"—although I may not put that phrase in the title of my […]

Enhanced Simulations

Our increasingly rapidly changing world needs techniques that are of sufficient complexity so that they can meet current needs. No longer can standard exams do this; what’s needed are simulated challenges. Simulations are now being used in training for space, for military purposes, in surgery and medicine, and an increasing number of other applications. What […]

Enhanced Simulations

The German language “Zeitschrift fur Psychodrama”  (Zeitschrift  translated  literally is time-writing, that is, a Journal). The latest issue deals with general sociological concerns from many standpoints. The problem this poses is that it opens wide the implications of Moreno’s vision and throws into question the narrow bounds of professionalism monitored by the Board of Examiners. […]

Evolving Consciousness Through Drama

One set of tools for evolving consciousness involves the integration of elements of drama—not the kind where people memorize lines written by someone else and repeatedly rehearse those lines and scenes—that’s what has come to dominate theatre arts, alas—but rather improvisational and interactive types of drama. I think that the unfolding field of applied theatre […]

Exploratory Drama for Life

It may be time to confirm some rapprochement among drama therapy (all varieties, and there are several!), psychodrama (several varieties), and other arts “therapies”—and more that their being considered together, and consider now how they do not have to be therapeutic. In the mid-1950s some people partook of psychoanalysis because it was fashion-able, not because […]

Fractional Roles

Here’s a concept I just made up. I think we play vicarious roles and sometimes only parts of these as we interface with mass media. We root for our preferred team in sports, or for our combatant in television wrestling or online computer games. We “become” various characters in the dramas and comedies we view […]