Psychodrama since Moreno: Innovations in Theory and Practice

Psychodrama since Moreno: Innovations in Theory and Practice

Psychodrama since Moreno: Innovations in Theory and Practice

Psychodrama since Moreno: Innovations in Theory and Practice

Synopsis

Internationally recognised practitioners of the psychodramatic method discuss the theory and practice of psychodrama since Moreno's death. Key concepts of group psychotherapy are explained and their development illustrated.

Excerpt

Zerka T. Moreno

Turning the pages of this book, pondering, I wonder: what would Moreno think about this, his offspring's product? He would be delighted to know and it might even humble him, that he continues to occupy and stimulate those who come after him. He would say, as he often did after a satisfactory piece of his own work was accomplished: 'Wir haben's herrlich weit gebracht'. (We have brought it excellently far).

As a thinker, Moreno is often declared to be unclear; some of his postulates are not framed in terms normally understood by those who practise critical thinking. For those, the poetic-inspirational aspect of his work clouds his scientific exposition. As the personal part of my relationship with him recedes in time, the totality of this man's being emerges more and more for me. It was his spirit that captivated me from the start. I was young, naive and even ignorant, but something about the way he was wrapped itself around me, awed and inspired me and drew me to him. I told myself: 'This man is a genius. I am not likely to meet his equal in this lifetime.'

My sense is that Moreno did not belong in this time or place; if anything, he belonged to the ages. He was not of this family or that family, not of a single nationality or possibly even a single gender as his sensibility was often what we designate as female. Touchingly, Doris Twitchell Allen spoke of him as being 'an element, like the sky or the ocean'. It may well be one reason why he was so misunderstood, at least in his earlier years; but then, all who are of that nature are misunderstood. Yet, curiously, on some levels, he was almost primitive in spite of that very great gift of 'seeing people'.

He helped people to go beyond the mundane, to expand; that is what he meant when he said to Freud: 'I teach people to dream again'. He meant, of course, bigger and better dreams, perhaps for the central European Freud, too American an idea.

Some years ago a number of American colleagues met to discuss which of Moreno's ideas they thought had made its mark on them and they presented a list. I also tried to make a list, which ran to several pages and

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