Saturday, June 23, 2012

What the "empty chair" is not! (But funny!)

The empty chair is the famous therapeutic tool that first started with J.L. Moreno in 1921, when he invited members of the theater audience to take the role of a leader in post-war Austria.  Much of the audience apparently did not appreciate or understand Moreno’s message, and no one was seen as worthy of taking the role.

Later, his collaborator and wife Zerka Moreno expanded the empty chair to use for the protagonist rather than the community. And the famous Fritz Perls, the developer of Gestalt therapy, who was Moreno’s student at one time, borrowed the empty chair and turned it into the “hot seat.”

Here's a funny scene from the television show 30 Rock, in which Jack pretends to be Tracy's parents in a role-playing therapy session

(No, we psychodramatists really don't do this kind of role play in quite this way, but this clip is funny. Enjoy!)