Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Ways of Growth

Originally posted on February 6, 2018

This anthology is matched by a website for others to write about their non-psychotherapeutic applications of psychodrama, drama therapy, applied improvisation, drama in education, Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, and other forms that overlap with the expressive arts therapies. It has occurred to me with increasing vividness that much that began as "therapy" need not justify its existence as a path to helping people adjudged "sick" by themselves or by others. We have lived through this transition where, in the light of humanistic psychology, we "normals" can all get "better"—not to return to normalcy, but to not return but attain a new level, and we are open to striving for the next level up. This is the subliminal promise of humanistic psychology or now what is called "positive psychology."

(Humanistic Psychology is not the same as Positive Psychology, I know; but for this angle, they overlap, one peaking in the 1970s-80s, the Positive Psychology thrust peaking in the teens-twenties of the second millennium since the birth of Christ.)

I realize we’re at a turning point. We don’t have to call it "therapy." I know it’s premature, and that many in the population feel they’re okay, or at least they’re following a leader who is unafraid and okay (Trump) (or so they think). But in a larger sense the other side experience the possibility of always getting "better" in new ways. That is, we don’t have to relate to the "sick" role. We can relate rather to a rising slope of history in many, many ways. One need not be “sick” to benefit from “therapy.”  Rather, normal, healthy, growing people can benefit by choosing from an enriched menu of ways to grow!  (Herbert Otto fifty years ago, or there-abouts, wrote a book titled "Ways of Growth," and I am grateful to remember this (or anything) and cite it!)

In keeping with the advancing "Human Potential Movement," let’s leave "therapy" for those who adjudge themselves or are adjudged by others as sick, and reassert the right to make use of what originally was used as "therapy" for healthy, vibrant people, to grow with.

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