Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Social Depth Psychology-Introduction

Originally posted on October 18, 2012

I realized that there’s no way I can offer a treatise about this field—it’s too vast and complex. The best I can do is to begin to talk about it, to point out that there are many phenomena and dynamics that operate in a realm between individual psychology—which has been relatively well covered by thousands of theorists over a period of a century; and sociology and social psychology, which again includes innumerable papers. I’m more alert to dynamics operating in the space between, so to speak—to full of individual psychodynamics to be covered by the social behavior sciences, but too tied up with the way people interact with each other to have been covered by the peculiar methods of clinicians who deal with one person at a time, or maybe families, or maybe groups.

Of course a number of all sorts of fields touch on and overlap this field:
– organizational development
– group dynamics
– sociometry (which is perhaps closest as a root from for what SDP is about)
– anthropology, performance studies, and sociology
– communications studies and linguistics and semantics a little
– a few aspects of depth psychology and interpersonal psychology, etc.

But I find I’ve been excited about a field that seems to me to be fairly open. Maybe that’s what it was like to discover a whole layer of life in the deep sea, or the richness of semantics, or other fields that were right there all the time, but we were too caught up in the illusion that other theories could offer adequate explanations. But they don’t. Or, maybe they do, a little, but there are many dynamics and phenomena that have not been addressed or if they have, have been interpreted in terms of other systems of theory.

So these essays are musings, yet far from the portentious term, “findings.” Nor do they build on each other like a neat sequence, but perhaps at this point in the theory-development they don’t need to. My hope is to just get you interested in the field and perhaps play with me!

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