Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

How Psychodrama Works

Originally posted on September 1, 2017

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 language. In time, about 4500 years ago, humans could eventually invent writing to express even further this ability to put things into words. It became yet a further “facet of creation.” But writing tends to present things in declarative sentences. Drama, though, presents innate ambi-valence, in the form of dialogue. One person says this, another person or role says that.

Meanwhile, some Freudian thought pushes from yet another direction, from the unspoken towards the spoken. In this sense, perhaps group analysis helps the unspoken (but thought in words) be shared, or at least be explicitly thought. That is, the process moves from unconscious to pre-conscious to explicit consciousness.

Jungian thought pushes in from yet another direction, from the transpersonal, the archetypal. Adlerian theory presents the way mind also operates from power strivings, from mastery. It isn’t as though one were right and the others wrong. The mind is multi-dimensional! Other theorists add further facets.

Psychodrama serves to make explicit the nature of ambivalence. There are often two (and perhaps more) seemingly contradictory messages. Psychodrama allows for this: Part of me thinks…. whereas another part of me thinks… or most of me feels…. but 5.6% of me feels in a way the opposite.   Drama can allow for this ambivalence.

Indeed, the devices of psychodrama, voice over (doubling), role reversal (what part of me fantasizes you’re thinking), etc., all illustrate the complexities of subconscious functioning, making it in a sense more conscious.

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