Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just for fun, a little "group" humor!

Doing group?

Here's a fun video from the United Kingdom -- and you are guaranteed to laugh! In this scene, all five actors are participants in a phobias workshop. The phobias include a fear of the word "Aagh!", a fear of apologies, a fear of repetition and awkward silences. Performed by Lee Mack, Jim Tavare, Tim Vine, Karen Taylor and Ronni Ancona.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adam Blatner explains the potential of sociodrama

Sociodrama, the little-known cousin of psychodrama, has great potential. We see its potential in this video from the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services and the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development at the University of Georgia, which hosted a presentation by Adam Blatner, M.D.

Adam spent the evening introducing participants to the concept of sociodrama, differentiating it from psychodrama and other similar processes, and explained how it can be used as a powerful tool in counseling and education. Participants engaged in  sociodramatic scenarios to give them a feel for the process, which is described as a powerful problem solving tool.

Adam describes himself as a multi-faceted fellow: amateur philosopher, contemplateur of contemporary cultural trends, confabulator, playful part-elf, and promoter of imagination as well as more rational modes of thought. Professionally he is a retired mainstream psychiatrist and a prolific blogger.

Part one, filmed on February 26, 2011, may be found here.

Part Two is here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

What's in the word "psychodrama"?


The psychodrama discussion list known as Grouptalk has been having a lively discussion lately about how to language the word "psychodrama."

Some wonder if the word is too loaded or too old or too strange for use in the 21st century. The word is the name of a musical group and frequently media persons use the word to denote an emotionally intense movie, book or politically charged situation.

We are sure to have more discussions on this topic when we meet next week in Jersey City, N.J., for our 70th annual conference of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama.

From time to time, I have used a variety of word, including psychodrama and action methods to experiential therapy and interactive therapy – not to mention the phrase imagination activities. I like Adam Blatner's idea of “action exploration,” too However, whatever verbiage we employ, it is important that we know the background and history of this method and are able to explain it to our clients, trainees, students, visitors, web readers and others who are curious, including “why” it is called psychodrama and what it is good for. This keeps the method grounded in a context and theory, not just a bunch of cool and interesting techniques.

Note to the interested: Dr. J.L. Moreno named his method "psychodrama," as a counter to Sigmund Freud's "psychoanalysis." Moreno often compared his method to  Dr. Freud's work, claiming his was superior because it added drama -- action -- to personal exploration. In fact, psychodrama refers to "psyche in action." Psyche, of course, is the Greek word for soul.

As for the language, when I trained with Zerka Moreno, she was insistent that psychodrama was a method, not a mere therapy.

But she also frequently said, “There are lots of ways of doing it,” meaning many directions to go within a drama and many ways to direct a drama. So let's say that there are many directions to go in the language-ing of the method as well.