Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

If Not Psychodrama, What?

Originally posted on May 11, 2018

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 spokesperson for what should be! I replied:

I see the field opening up to non-therapy roles for facilitating action explorations. My latest formulation is that psychodramatic methods should be renamed “enhanced simulations,” and be applied in law, in education (including the training of physicians), and so forth. Indeed, I am presently collecting articles for an anthology on this approach, titled  "enhanced simulations." I have come to the conclusion that this is what non-clinical psychodrama really is!

As a qualifying statement, I and several others do not fulfill some minimal standards as defined by others. This belies my eminence! So you would do well to dismiss my comments. I more than compensate by my writings and persistence so that I am honored by parts of the profession that doesn’t care so much. It’s a peculiar role to be in!

I know of skilled people who don’t fulfill standards, and fear that I am personally disqualified from top status in their eyes because of my lack of proper credentials, even though I more than compensate for these lacks by virtue of my having written many papers and chapters and books.    Perhaps what I should say is that I am unqualified to speak about standards as I fail to fulfill them myself, instead having over-fulfilled them by other criteria. I realize this is a problematic situation as colleagues are wanting recognition as "being qualified. But the field is fast-moving beyond psychotherapy! Depending where you stand the proper response is either "horrors!" or "hurray!" (I can explain further if you like.)
My present role is as editor of a book to be published (?next year?) that deals with applications of psychodrama not as psychotherapy, but for education, consulting, business, law, etc.—anything but therapy!  So I may not be in a position to announce standards or to hold to standards for psychotherapy.

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