Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:


Moreno’s God-Playing

Psychodrama was invented by Jacob L. Moreno in the late 1930s, and applied mainly in psychotherapy—although he tried to spread it into business and education. I have books of ideas about psychodrama, building on his foundation. Moreno was an odd fellow, a bohemian if there ever was one. I’m reading about the modern-day fusion of […]

Non-Psychotherapeutic Applications of Psychodrama

Moreno not only developed psychodrama as therapy, but the method had many non-therapeutic, non-medical-model applications, in schools, churches, busi=nesses, etc. I’ve written about several of these. I’ve commenced working on an anthology of such non-psychotherapeutic applications, thinking about titles—Action Methods, Reality Practice, Enhanced Simulations, etc. Moreno him -self supported applications of psychodrama in education and […]

Non-Rational Mind

In late January, 2011,  I wrote about the “amplifying unconscious” as a feature of the mind that is as yet hardly known.  This blog will present another category, the Non-Rational Mind, which roughly but not precisely correlates with the “right brain” functions. This category may overlap in a few way with the amplifying unconscious. (I […]

Not Therapy: Support!

People need people. J. L. Moreno, who is best known as a pioneer of psychodrama, really promoted people helping people. His notion of group therapy didn’t require fancy training of the group leader. For almost twenty-five years his journal—mainly concerning psychodrama—was titled Group Psychotherapy, and when he introduced someone to his groups, he called them […]

Notes on Transference and Sociometry

Freud was right that often we react to some people the way we reacted to other people who had some rough similarity. It’s simple generalization. Freud called it transference. But over time it all becomes more complex: What if the other person smiles at us instead of frowns? We may be more likely to be […]

On “Evidence-Based” Psychotherapy

Edward Schreiber has published one of the last sections (on Psychodrama, Sociometry, Sociodrama, and Sociatry, pages 2952-2956, in Chapter 30 in Kaplan & Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry—a major textbook in the field. (Previous editions had given Moreno himself significantly greater number of pages.) Interestingly, the earlier editions in 1973 or thereabouts gave psychodrama a […]

Open Letter on Action Explorations

I sent an email to a wide range of colleagues who might in turn disseminate it to their own wider networks of their colleagues. I am calling for a gentle unification )(at least in principle) of a variety of a variety of fields who participate in methods that combine: group processes that are collaborative rather […]

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 […]

Performance Awareness

There’s something about this on my other website. I’ve been thinking about the degrees of awareness that we are performing for a hidden or not-so-hidden audience. I call this “performance awareness.” and I think there’s a spectrum: At the low end, zero awareness, at the high end, extremely aware of the audience and their reaction. […]

Performance Studies

Those who are more skilled at dramatization know this: Adding  a little bit of performance, self-consciousness, exaggeration—just a tiny bit, but enough for you to notice!—enough to be impressive, subtly. This is very influential! People who know this intuitively recognize that a little bit of theatre is effective, But it must me subtle enough to […]

Principles of Action Explorations

In a sense, this is a bit of a personal mission statement: I have been fortunate to encounter a goodly number of tools that I think can help humanity evolve in their consciousness. I plan to develop and promote these ideas and complexes of ideas, together and separately: 1. The goals of living become more […]

Problems with Social Depth Psychology

To begin with, let’s clarify the terminology. Sociometry has been used in the field of psychodrama to describe, in a more narrow sense, the method, mainly involving making explicit those preferences that are generally not explicit. In a larger sense, the word talks about all the dynamics involved in this process, and I think it […]

Process is Our Most Important Product

In the 1950s and ‘60s the General Electric company—abbreviated GE—had as its motto “Progress is our most important product.” It occurred to me in contemplating the difference between improvisational theatre and psychodrama that one of the more valuable features of the latter is that in psychodrama the process is made explicit. In theatre there is […]

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” […]


My old chapter on psychodrama and many other readings on this subject are on my website. Note that some people use terms such as “clinical role playing” and “action methods.” Psychodrama has of late become associated by news reporters with any complex problem suffused with psychological implications. That is hardly its original meaning, which was […]

Psychodrama as a Root Form

Moreno’s method has been a major source for inspiration for drama therapy and a minor source for a number of related fields. For example, there is the Applied Improvisation Network (look it up)—mainly an organization formed by people who have been active in improvisational theatre. These folks have mainly been influenced by the work of […]

Psychodrama Research

Psychodrama research falls victim to the same pitfalls as psychotherapy research: The mind is many-leveled. There is thinking, and thinking about thinking, and pathological and unconscious dynamics, namely the multi-leveled functionality of symptoms. Symptoms are also expressions of the deep self. (I confess to being influenced by the “wild analyst” Georg Groddek, who was a […]

Psychodrama Resources

Just to spread the word: the Executive Committee of the Australia & Aotearoa-New Zealand Psychodrama Association recently decided that in line with our strategic priority that psychodrama be valued and more widely known, all AANZPA journal articles be available for free general access online.  All Journal articles are now publicly available from the AANZPA website. […]

Psychodrama Theory

A recent NY Times Magazine article dated Sunday, June 28, 2015 by Casey Schwartz was titled  “Tell it about your mother: Can brain scanning save psychoanalysis”.  Schwartz interviewed Otto Kernberg, now 86, known for his contributions to using psychoanalysis with borderline person-ality and work on personality disorders. “Psychoanalysis is several things,” he said.  “It’s a […]

Psychodrama, Positive Psychology, etc.

Psychodrama offers a less specific type of positive psychology. The actual founder of PP is Martin Seligman, of course, but Seligman built on a number of previous workers. Barbara Fredrickson is another pioneer in PP. Neither bothers acknow-ledging Moreno, but I think Moreno (who created psychodrama) should be thought of as a pioneer also, whether […]

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 […]

Psychological Theory: Both / And

J. L. Moreno, M.D. (1889-1974) was prescient in some ways; but not in others. He  was right in noticing the deficiencies of psychoanalysis, but he was biased in his own favor. Theories of psychology or psychopathology were at that time either/or not both/and, and it didn’t occur to Moreno to be more inclusive. Moreno’s insight […]

Re-Narrating Your Life

I wrote about this previously under the title, “Creating Your Living,” but that was not the best phrase. You don’t create what you do, but you create how you describe what you do, or did. Indeed, how you describe it makes it anywhere from tragic to annoying, from good enough to glorious. You’re playing with […]

Recent Psychodrama Postings on My Website

Now on my website with the links here is presentation on Beyond Psychotherapy , which will soon be given as a plenary presentation at the national ASGPP psychodrama conference. I speak to two issues on my mind of late: That Moreno’s methods have many applications well beyond the clinical context; and that these methods should […]

Reconsidering “Sociatry”

Merriam-Webster online:  group psychotherapy through the use of sociometric techniques (as psychodrama or sociodrama) Urban Dictionary: as psychiatry is healing of the mind (actually, ‘psyche’ means ‘soul’), pediatrics is the branch of medical practice devoted to children, and geriatrics that devoted to the aged, so SOCIATRY is the healing of society Wikipedia under the topic […]