Thursday, February 4, 2010

Authentic footage of psychodrama's founder J.L. Moreno

Here's real historical footage of J.L. Moreno, the developer of psychorama and sociometry, conducting a psychodrama session.This film was shot in Paris during the First International Congress of Psychodrama in 1964. Moreno directs a psychodrama with a married couple, Paul and Michelle. Michelle is an old Parisienne, and Paul an unhappy American living in France because of his marriage. Moreno uses psychodramatic techniques to lead the couple to explore their conflicts.

Psychodrama has greatly evolved since Moreno -- a brilliant but rather over-the-top kind of guy -- first started putting groups of people on stage to act out their troubles.

Now psychodrama is much more nuanced and specialized. I had the great good fortune to study with his collaborator and widow, Zerka Moreno, for many years in Highland, N.Y.; one of the most effective sessions she directed involved no "drama," just a tiny flinch-like movement from the protagonist that proved to offer a tremenous shift in the woman's perspective and problem.

Enjoy this historical treasure: