Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:


Getting Personal in Experiential Learning

A friend asked me to clarify the difference between psychodrama and sociodrama and the spectra in between. He wrote, “Interestingly sometimes in the past when I started out doing a sociodrama in teaching a group of therapists come up with some themes such as how to deal with an angry patient, someone may volunteer to […]

God-Playing: Can you DO that?

Well, you can’t pretend to yourself that you really are God. It’s taboo! Don’t even think of doing that!  Indeed, there is a whole category of things you may not do. It’s all mixed in with what we don’t know how to do and what we believe that there’s no way of doing. "Whoa! Can […]

Happy Springtime 2018

It’s a glorious spring! Birds are singing, and mocking-birds (my favorite) are improvising ! We’re all dancing or creating ourselves in multiple ways in the service of God-Becoming in an experiential-exponential way. (I just made that phrase up!) I’m writing on my next project, which is an anthology of non-psychotherapeutic ways to use Moreno’s psycho-dramatic […]

Hope and Reality: Bridging the Gulf

The Theme for the 2011 conference of the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, held from April 28 – May 2, is “Bridging the gulf between hope and reality: Putting our ideals into action.”  The theme also relates to the fact that the conference is being held in Clearwater, a suburb to the west […]

How Action Expl0rations Work

I see action explorations as being a synthesis of all of the following: 1. The general principle of “Creativity” as a general goal—which contrasts with the 20th century goal of hoping to “get it right” (as if some authority knew what the right answer was). There’s a whole world-view here that shifts from the world […]

How Psychodrama Works

I have been contemplating how Moreno’s method works, and tentatively conclude that it makes explicit that which is done implicitly. It unfolds consciousness. Words allow the beginnings of intuition to take form, and, speaking mythically, G-d created people , evolved them painstakingly over a million years, so that they could use words. The neocortex mediates […]

I Get to Help

I am blessed because I have some sense of what I can do to help, what might be my own contribution: I have discovered ways to amplify our creative potential. Others have preceded me, it must be acknowledged (such as J. L. Moreno), and others as saying something like this, but no others that I […]

Ideas About Psychodrama Literature

Here are some ideas: Let me know if you’re willing to help. First, everything is being digitalized and miniaturized, including our past issues of our journals. (The word for this is “disruptive technology”—a major shift, such as the shift from horse-and-buggy to horseless-carriages—also known as automobiles. Digitization offers a potential of making available a far […]

If Not Psychodrama, What?

A student of psychodrama in Europe asked me about international qualitative and quantitative standards in psychodrama psychotherapy as he is writing a thesis about  training between different training organizations and the prospects of some unification of minimal standards. I appreciate his offering me an opportunity to comment as a private citizen, by no means a […]

Improv (-isational Drama)

​Some people from the world of theatre got into improv comedy about 50 years ago, and from thence. gradually, into improv in everyday work and life. This has been a little like those horse races where the lesser-well-known horse comes up from behind and wins the race. Moreno’s venture into psychiatry and improv theater combined […]

Integrating Methods of Psychotherapy

Increasingly clinicians are integrating a variety of expressive therapy modalities in with psychodrama, and the point is that wisely done, this is fine. There is no need to be purist: In a recent book by Carnabucci & Ciotola on Eating Disorders they seamlessly incorporate other modalities with action, including music, art, exercise, yoga, Reiki, and […]

Introducing “Action Explorations”

I’ve written a great deal of psychodrama, which is a sort of therapeutic role playing. Now several approaches deliver this from several angles—sociodrama, drama therapy, applied improvisation, biblio-drama, the creative arts therapies (often insert some psychodrama), etc. Meanwhile, I’m turning increasingly away from therapeutic psychodrama and toward what I call “action explorations,” which has no […]

Is “Drama” a Bad Thing?

This is about the semantics of the word, drama. Its root is simply that which is done, enacted. My background in psychodrama makes this relevant, because of late I have begun to question the way the word drama has come to be understood. It seems to carry a meaning of excess, of histrionics. Recently I […]

It Cuts, It Chops, It Slices!

When I was young and watching television before there were blogs to eat up my time, they had these infomercials that advertised kitchen gadgets. Their enthusiastic pronouncements (as the title of this piece suggests) reminds me that psychodrama might well be thought of as a complex of ideas and techniques that can be creatively applied […]

J. L. Moreno, M.D.—Some Thoughts

Next year they’re running an article on Daimon, a literary journal Moreno edited a century ago. Moreno was a multi-dimensional genius, with ideas branching into philosophy as well as medicine; sociology as well as history; and so forth. He needs to be recognized as reaching well beyond his field of medicine and the remedying of […]

Life Enhancement via “Self Rev”

I have a friend in Oakland, California, named Sheila Rubin, who leads workshops on how to do “Self-Revelatory Theatre.” (This approach to my knowledge was first written about in the mid-1990s by another friend, Renee Emunah, and mentioned in her book, Acting for Real.) This is good stuff, but the appeal so far has been […]

Life Enlargement

We have in fact been enlarging our awareness of what’s happening through international news, the internet, astronomy, microscopy, imaging, travel writing, etc. Now I want to make a category for it! The idea that we can enlarge our lives through what was psychodrama—I call using the method for fun and not psycho-therapy “action explorations”—is here […]

Life Exploration

This is also a form of life expansion, and it’s not medical model. It’s a coaching model. Many—perhaps most—people who are referred aren’t really wanting to take on the world in new ways. They just say to themselves, “Don’t try this or you’ll seem foolish.” But life expansion is a form of non-problem-centered work with […]

Life Improv(-isation)

There is improv (short for mainly dramatiic improvisation) for psychotherapy, also known as psychodrama, pioneered by Jacob Moreno. This has been given new life by professionals who have also done improv for therapy. There’s also comedy improv, done by people associated mainly with the theatre arts—though some few have glimpsed at improv as a way […]

Lifelong Re-Creation

It’s time here in the early 21st century to recognize that many procedures that have arisen from the context of “therapy” have far wider application! (It’s no more daring to note this than to note that there are now many thousands more applications for computers and associated technologies than there were back in the 1950s.) […]

Living Creatively

One of my life missions is the introduction of methods that people can use to live more creatively. The methods are adaptations of psychodrama or a type of improvised dramatic enactment. I’ve written about this in other contexts, such as a chapter in Jacob Gershoni’s edited book, Psychodrama in the 21st Century. An imaginative application […]

More About Mandalas

I was discussing my own use of mandalas with a lady who has a website about this subject, in addition to producing her own very beautiful designs. Her questions evoked some thoughts that I’ll share with those of you who might be interested. I started drawing mandala-like designs—somewhat circular and symmetrical—around 1966. One fun drawing […]

Moreno and Jung: Confabulating

An acquaintance of mine is writing about J. L. Moreno (the creator of psycho-drama) and Carl G.  Jung, the founder of analytic psychology. It might be more correct to say that she has written about their associated theoretical system and how these systems have evolved over the years. It should be noted that Jung emphasized […]

Moreno’s “Idee Fixe”

I wrote about what Moreno called his Idee Fixe  in 1996 and was reminded of it in a correspondence by a colleague, Ed Schreiber. The article that J. L. Moreno (1889-1974) wrote was published in a booklet last year, titled The Future of Man’s World. Moreno wrote: “Why I chose the course of the theater […]

Moreno’s Broader Vision

One of my many roles is that of trying to articulate and extend the work of Dr. Jacob L. Moreno, a physician who is best known for inventing psychodrama, although he did so much more. As Moreno wrote in the opening lines to what he called his Magnum Opus—a Latin phrase for “greatest work”—, i.e, […]