Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Introducing “Action Explorations”

Originally posted on July 22, 2018

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 identified patients nor therapeutic goal. It’s just general “fertilizer.” It may be also thought of as simulations  enhanced by doubling, revealing the thoughts of the players. These are all using the aesthetic tool of drama to communicate the multi-leveled nature of human communications.

Is this psychodrama? I realize there’s a continuing need for therapy. That’s the medical model, though, and I gave over fifty years to it! It just doesn’t interest me so much any more. I did enough. What does interest me is the application of enhanced simulations. Those are open-ended, part-axio-dramas, part-non-therapeutic psychodrama, part-sociodrama, etc. They need not be centered on a "problem"—or, if so, not on a "personal problem." That is to say, no diagnosis needed, nor any sense of psycho-pathology in the customer. Indeed, I’m turning towards action explorations (which I word, a phrase, that will encourage people to experiment in non-clinical situations, with people who can not be dismissed with a "label."

So I take it out of the medical model, change its name, call it “action explorations,” and submit it as a tool for opening up communications. People are complex and this reveals how that is so!

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