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Becoming Jane

Becoming Jane: Appreciating her being and becoming through explorations of role

This article was submitted to 2007 ANZPA Journal and published with a small unintended alteration as the result of an addition of graphics. Here in its original form. The use of the words “coping gestalt” rather than “coping role”were carefully chosen as Don explained in ANZPA’s online “Socio”. 

Becoming Jane pdf

Socio of march-2008-on coping-gestalt

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Walter’s thinking about science & Moreno

Walter’s post

Evan’s visit

We have had a busy day with Evan and Isabelle

A clue from Moreno as to how humans tick

Jacob Moreno saw that the idea of role in theatre is a powerful powerful metaphor for how we are as humans. The organisation of ourselves to be who we are uniquely with our personality and our system of relating can be pictured applying the role concept. Moreno recognised that while role was beginning to be taken up by sociologists, educationists and social psychologists in a variety of ways to make sense of how the individual fits into society and takes up the expectations of their community for a person of that status and in that position. It was cultural everyone knows how mothers behave in our society – whatever society it is we belong to. It was soon recognised that each person brings their own special way of enacting a role but essentially what will be done has consistency. We can all soon take for granted what any new technology will have service providers able to do and how they will do it.

A few more paragraphs and some links follow.

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Given and taken away

The sands were back last week – not completely but another month and they would be. Yesterday the storms sepped up the momentum and so the waves ravage the coast as the rain flooded the lower hinterlands. John – our son - could not get his ten year old son Kieran through to the local hospital at Nambour. The seas tore trees out that had been panted to stabilise the coastal banks fringing the beach. The sands have gone down a quarter of a metre at the very top and are metres lower twenty metres down the beach. Foam like the top on a shaky beer is competely dominating the waves breaking and right up the beach. A man walked his dog fluffy and white with a touch of pink. Just like the foam. I hope he kept the leash on and firmly held.


Indiana Jones

We went to see Indiana Jones with our Sunshine Coast grandchildren yesterday. It was a great “Boys Own” adventure but not just for boys, Brittany and Gwen had a great time. Kieran and I too. Tongue firmly in cheek Lucas is a wonderful story creator. The actors were superb and the adventures required absolute withholding of disbelief.

For a couple of days the internet connection’s been offlinewhich is no good but back again now. 

Rain Rain go away come again another day

 We were going to Brisbane today. Meetings with good friends and colleagues. South east Queensland is swept by tropical storms and we are not moving out of our apartment – it could be worse of course and the Crusaders could be beaten by the Warratahs or the Socaroos be beaten by Iraq. For now we are here. Unfortunately the suite of comfortable chairs and settee were cleaned yesterday and won’t dry. We can sit on the floor and watch the tennis in Paris – as long as it doesn’t rain again there.

The sand is back

Going on to the beach at 7.20am the man leaning on the fence post in a flurescent red shirt with his eyes scanning and searching the beach with an exagerated familiarity made his declaration. “The sand is coming back.” This is true, so I say “Yes it is.” End of conversation as Gwen and I sail on to the beach and stride – or so it seems – along the broad strand left by lowest tide we’ve seen this year. The cyclones of December are long gone and their clawing seas have been replaced by soothing swells grooming the sands up from the deep to cover – gradually and so slow a gradualness – the black rocks to leave knobs and tiny peaks peeping out here and there. The sand is back.

A Bridge too Far

I have been thinking and talking with Gwen about yet another child yesterday being baffled at our Leyland 1980 Mini Moke. No doors are a problem if you are two. The mother’s responses are interesting. Watching alongside the mother is positioned as a “director” in a psychodrama for a mirrored scene. Or in a similar relationship to a psychodrama one to one counsellor/therapist who is oriented with the client (or main person involved) towards the imaginary or produced stage space of the main woman or man. Again it is alongside not eyeballing. My creche research of 1979 at the university creche taught me that parents eye to eye with reassurance coddling but underlying concern left disturbed infants for the whole session while those who joined alongside their childs activity and play interest and left quietly left children at ease and playfully engaged in the reche world.

What I was discussing with Gwen though was the psychodrama directors recognition of the point of sufficient warmup to a new role or a whole being/body realization. (realization being Moreno’s word for individuation, self-actualization or for experiencing self in a new or fuller way) This may mean discerning a role (their way of being themselves) in a moment where the of the main person (Moreno’s “protagonist”) has feelings moving freely, body undefended and mind in reflective run of experience that is probably free of words rich in possibilities and accepting of realities – past and present. These body mind cosmos moments might sometimes have catharsis of abreaction flooding as prelude. More often the psychodramatic movements from subjectivities to objectivities and back again moving in the process through holons of their systems within and in the myriad of systems they have current and in memory. Salient holons with their drama’s open at their minds unknowing and unerring choosing. The development of role or warm up to the new wash through and have a sense of knowing and not knowing but of moving foward into an opening universe.

So how did I come to think of the war movie “A Bridge too Far”. Going to a point beyond your ability to sustain a so far successful venture and leaving your colleagues endangered is the image I have. The psychodrama director who is adicted to catharsis of abreaction, or completions within the drama rather than within a group’s sharing or the main one’s own period of quietness, or to demonstration of awareness form the main one, or enthused with greater work to be done right now will be in danger of taking protagonists a bridge too far. In my supervision groups the members direct each other in tiny enactments (in Morenian = vignettes) and discover how much can be achieved in small time slots.


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Publishing prescriptions

This morning in conversation with a colleague by email we engaged on the need for trainees and students to discipline their writing to meet their publishers precise requirements.

Psychodramatists in training are attracted by and continue their training buoyed by the discovery of spontaneity and the access it gives to their creative genius. They notice they are freer in themselves and more creative. Perhaps this contributes to an approach to writing tuned in to freedom of the rebellious I will be different different kind. They may have an unconscious fear that any request for a written response is a step backwards to school or university. They react protectively towards their new found friend and sponsor. Perhaps trainers don’t assist them to know their friends true guardian and guide: themselves. They can assume and blindly accept that this wonderful beast on whom they ride is free not only to free them but is wonderfully beyond their control and that that is the way of it. Some even think “spontaneity” is release of an a previously tethered real-self springing fresh and naked to strident life. Gift from the deep it is: like a genie. There for their gift of power but more powerful, and rightfully so, as they”let go” abandoning “control” and “trusting the moment”. (see my post The forms I or you take)

Is it reasonable to ask a trainee to write under any limitation. Particularly so when from their own creativity they bring forward their own applications working as a practitioner of the methods of Jacob Moreno. Well our manual sets out the requirements and among them prescribes 7000 – 13000 words for their final paper said to be their thesis.

January 2007 Charmaine McVae and I had been writing in collaboration for the Coaching journal edition of the Australian Psychologist for December 2007. We decided to write on role training as an approach to psychological coaching. Our collaboration got going at the beginning of December 2006. We knew the final submission prescription date – January 30. Two weeks out with 28 pages single spacing written and enjoying our productivity Charmaine checked the required upper word limit. Twelve pages double line spacing shocked us both. We took our opus magnum in hand and saw the opportunity to fine tune and savagely cull all but the tightest writing holding our readers in mind with focus. What we wanted to have read what we thought was essential was given up. The question was now how to put words on twelve A4 pages double spaced and give psychologists an appreciation of role training in one to one coaching consultations. Savage we were and I am sure our readers got a better article with adequate information and an appetising flavour of psychodrama.

Since Morenian spontaneity is mindfully directed ethically controlled freedom to be as much ourselves as we can in our planet and cosmos perhaps discipline to writing prescribed papers as essential learning from the start to the completion of training – but not of course any end of learning.

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