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The late arrival of group psychiatry and group psychotherapy has a plausible explanation when we consider the development of modern psychiatry out of somatic medicine. In a particular group a subject may be used as an instrument to diagnose and as a therapeutic agent to treat the other subjects. The doctor as the final source of mental therapeusis has failed. Sociometric methods have demonstrated that therapeutic values are scattered throughout the membership of the group. One patient can treat the other. The role of the healer has changed from the owner and actor of therapy to its assigner and trustee. But as long as the agent of psychotherapy was a particular, special individual, a doctor or a priest, the consequence was that he was also the medium of therapy as well as the catalyzer of healing power.
The sociometric test requires an individual to choose his associates for any group of which he is or might become a member. The sociometric test is an instrument which examines social structures through the measurement of the attractions and repulsions which take place between the individuals within a group. In the area of interpersonal relations people often use more narrow designations, as “choice” and “rejection". Sociometry in communities and the psychodrama in experimental situations make a deliberate attempt to bring the subjects into an experimental state which will make them sensitive to the realization of their own experiences and action patterns. This conditioning of the subjects for a more total knowledge of their social situation is accomplished by means of the processes of warming up and by learning to summon the degree of spontaneity necessary for a given situation.
A simple illustration of sociornetric technique is the grouping of children in a dining room. The technique of letting girls place themselves works out to be impracticable. It brings forth difficulties which enforce arbitrary, authoritative interference with their wishes, the opposite principle from the one which was intended a free, democratic, individualistic process. The best possible relationship available within the structure of interrelations defines the optimum of placement. This is the highest reciprocated choice from the point of view of the girl. The factors entering into sociometric assignment are numerous the psychological organization of every cottage, the sociometric saturation point for minority groups within them, the social history of the new girl, to mention a few. The greater the original affinity between the newcomer and the prominent members of the group the better will the newcomer be accepted by the whole group.
As long as the nature of eugenic affinities is not established by biogenetic research, we shall assume two practical rules: that psychological nearness or distance is indicative of eugenic nearness or distance and that clinical studies of crossings lead to a preliminary classification of eugenic affinity. We may have to consider not only changes in the genes but changes between the genes whatever mutation may have taken place in a gene and for whatever reason, mechanical and chemical. If this mutation should be favorable the genes must be attractive to one another, that is, must correspond to changes in some other genes. In other words, the genes must be able to produce a functional relation; morphological affinities and disaffinities between them may exist. A definite relation may exist between gene effect, the reflection of one gene upon another and upon the individual characters, and tele effect.
The problems of industry are not merely those of machines, of technological processes, or of scientific engineering. An industrial conflict of various sorts is to be found merely in the definition of the dichotomous interests. The problem is one of human relationships the focus of attention must be on interpersonal relationships. It is for this reason that sociometry, which has grown out of clinical practice on human relationships, is so well adapted to needs of the scientists and clinicians working in the industrial situation. The interest in human relationships in industry on a large scale is rather recent. While economists wrote on the problem generations ago, while industrial psychologists have claimed a discipline for a generation, and while sociologists have been interested in group structure for half a century, the focus of attention by many disciplines in any concerted way has come about only in the last seventeen years.
The patient, Martin Stone, earne to Beacon for treatment, at times together with his wife, once a week during the summer of 1941. Two days after his second treatment session this dream took place. Its psychodramatic production was recorded by means of a recorder, and an observer in the audience recorded the actions and interactions between the dream characters. The objective of psychodramatic techniques is to stir up the dreamer to produce the dream instead of analyzing it for him. The first stage of the production was the dream which Martin actually had on the reality level on a specific date; then Martin was unconsciously his own producer. The stage of production was in the mind of the sleeper; the dreamer hallucinates all his auxiliary egos and auxiliary objects. The second stage of production takes place in a theatre of psychodrama; it is here that therapy beings.
This chapter discusses autobiographical fragments. It also presents examples from Moreno’s own cases containing verbatim transcripts that illustrate the give-and-take between Moreno, his patients, and the audience observers. The chapter reviews Moreno’s life and ideas in the context of his time and in the field of psychotherapy. When he was very young the idea of death, his own death, never entered his mind. He was in direct communication with God. If love or comradeship should arise, it should be fulfilled and retained in the moment without calculating the possible returns and without expecting any compensation. It was in his work with the children that his theories of spontaneity and creativity crystallized. The two factors, spontaneity and creativity, went together. Also he found that whenever a child repeated himself in the playing out of an idea of a dramatic sketch, his portrayals became more and more rigid.
This book presents the best and most important writings of J. L. Moreno in one concise and accessible place. This unique collection explores Moreno’s thought in developing psychodrama and sociometry, with his strong emphasis on spontaneity and creativity. The book discusses both basic and advanced concepts and techniques of psychodramatic treatment. Jonathan Fox introduces the book with a brief overview of Moreno’s life and ideas and places him in the context of his time and in the field of psychotherapy. Fox’s notes throughout underscore significant aspects of the selections for the practitioner and student. The essence of sociometry lies in the idea that groups have an internal life of their own and that this life can best be understood by examining the choices members make at any given moment with regard to each other. The book consists entirely of protocols that show Moreno at work directing psychodrama and sododrama, and contains autobiographical fragments. One of the basic instruments in constructing a patient’s psychodramatic world is that of the auxiliary ego, which is the representation of absentee individuals, delusions, hallucinations, symbols, ideals, animals, and objects. The psychodramatic method uses mainly five instruments—the stage, the subject or actor, the director, the staff of therapeutic aides or auxiliary egos, and the audience. All group methods have in common the need for a frame of reference for assessing the validity of their findings and applications. Spontaneity is often erroneously thought of as being more closely allied to emotion and actions than to thought and rest. The sociometric test is an instrument which examines social structures through the measurement of the attractions and repulsions which take place between the individuals within a group.
This chapter provides general introduction to Moreno’s ideas, designed for the newcomer to the field. The objective of psychodrama was, from its inception, to construct a therapeutic setting which uses life as a model, to integrate into it all the modalities of living, beginning with the universals time, space, reality, and cosmos down to all the details and nuances of life. Man lives in time past, present, and future. He may suffer from a pathology rekted to each. The problem is how to integrate all three dimensions into significant therapeutic operations. It is not sufficient that they figure as “abstract” references; they must be made alive within treatment modalities. The psychological aspect of time must reappear in toto. Freud, an exponent of genetic psychology and psychobiology, found going back and trying to find the causes of things of particular interest.