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Don’s Writing

My aim is to develop a list here of all my writing, especially items useful for trainees in Psychodrama. You can click on the links to download the files. I have made Blog posts about some of the articles I have here.Check the Blog links. I would appreciate comments on the blog. I will see them and so can others. In this way we contribute to a learning community.The writing is only to be copied with permission and acknowledgment.


1983 Prose Poem Psychodrama IS

I was Secretary-Coordinator of  The Psychodrama Institute of New Zealand (PINZ) which sponsored and promoted training and experiential events produced Newsletters, Gatherings and Training Records. Wayne Scott, a psychodramatist who was then Director of PINZ and I produced a Broadsheet for our members with a number of reports and guidance. In amongst these the poem I wrote and published anonymously. My poem was picked up in the Newsletter of the Australian and New Zealand Psychodrama Association Inc. produced by the Queensland Psychodrama Association – PINZ’s equivalent for their state. The editor reproduced the poem as its regular back page and with changes in editing that continued for five years. In 1987 prompted by Max in a workshop saying that fame, power, money and sex have to be faced and well held by the practitioner I decided to declare myself and claim authorship of the poem. A number of people requested permission to use it in the years that followed. Francis Batten had it in all his marketing material working with organizations in Brisbane.



A prose-poem Not Rehearsal Being sure that the trainer has got it wrong this time can provoke a fine beginning to wisdom. In 1985 the five day Training Workshop ends. The trainer’s saying that “psychodrama is rehearsal for life” clashed with the vitality and immediacy of my experience. I went home and wrote a prose poem. I knew what it was for me. It was not rehearsal. Knowing what it is not for ourselves can begin our knowing of our own truth – a truth to a “self chosen path”.


Key Conception of Moreno Revisions 2002&2010 In 1998 I wrote four pages on Key Conceptions of Moreno for Psychodrama and Sociodrama trainees in Auckland. I wanted to communicate the matters that I found key to my understanding of Moreno and to evoke in them a desire to dicover more. In 2002 I revised the handout for advanced counselling trainees who had little knowledge of Moreno or psychodrama. In placing it here in 1998 I acknowledge I have revised or tweaked here and there in May 2010.


I am Myself and I want to be Me This is a paper first produced September 2004 for Trainees working with Role Dynamics. It considers the importance of being free and creative. It is highlighted to acknowledge its psychodrama roots. It was produced to assist participants of a training weekend to observe and respond to roles they witness.

Spontaneity is the freedom we each can develop to truly be ourselves. To be freer and freer; so as to become who we really can be. Spontaneity is the factor in us that releases that freedom. Healthy spontaneity is mindfully directed and ethically controlled. It is lovingly gifted to the health of the whole human community. The planet’s interest is served by our spontaneity. We are co-creators of the cosmos in which we each contribute our particular and unique self.

I am Myself – A collection of thoughts on being and being creative revised in 2009 This version has no highlights to psychodrama linkages and has been redrafted for readers wanting simply to consider how we humans can free up to live well.

2006 Love came down at Christmas 2006 emails.doc


Freedom to Act in New Ways 2007

Freedom to Act in New Ways co-authored with Charmaine McVae is an article for the Australian Psychologist’s December 2007 edition – dedicated to Coaching .

The article presents a spontaneity-creativity-mindfulness approach to psychological counselling where the client makes new choices and develops new ways of being him or her self in settings that have challenged and defeated previously. The client’s warm up and activation as a competent experimenter is the key. The potent art of the psychodramatist is to coach in such a way that the client’s spontaneity is heightened which increases mindfulness and freedom to be who they are more openly and fully. The playful companion coach has it as their task to promote the client’s creativity so that the client has power to take charge.

Becoming Jane

This article was submitted to 2007 ANZPA Journal. It was published with an alteration that was not what fitted with my intentions. The addition of graphics worked against the permeable systems within systems which I see as the nature of the dynamanism of role.

Here it is 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 – March 2008”.


A coping-gestalt

Socio-March-2008 on coping-gestalt

This small article followed up the publication of Becoming Jane and the graphics that had been introduced in the ANZPA Journal with wording that changed a major thrust of the Becoming Jane – namely that the organization of a person may be coping strategies that include roles and elements of roles but roles being categorized as “coping roles” is not so helpful.

A clue from Moreno


This was first produced for a handout for Christchurch Psychodrama Trainees.  The first clue is about there being thinking, feeling and action in every and any role.  Second in the graphic and the description that follows three inevitable additional factors are recognized as alongside and essential to a concept that role has thinking, feeling and action. They are that:

  • a. values arise from interactions of thinking and feeling
  • b. every enactment of role is influenced by and in part limited by context
  • c. every enactment of role has consequences that can be imagined in advance – though are never absolutely predictable


Please Forget That You Know What ‘Role’ Means . . . The Pragmatics of Human Functioning

Please forget all you know about role

This article in the ANZPA Jounal 2009 was written at the same time as I prepared to lead a post conference workshop for the  ANZPA Inc. 2010 Sydney which I called: “The Art of Production: Delightful Artistry – Dynamic Method”. Sydneys agreed Blurb The art of Production

The article is an effort to assist readers to put their energy to experiencing appreciating the person they engage with so as to meet them and have a strong experience of their functioning form and the currents of influences which move in and around them as they are themselves being who they are.

I see the common usage of role in our time as a severely restricted understanding of the word. In Morneian thinking role has immense power in service of those a psychodramatist will work with. I believe it essential our approach is not contaminated by the restricted understanding and that we are not beguiled by producing words that are clever descriptors rather than being engaged in deep meeting. I value well fitting descriptors as great enliveners and know the role that is a person’s way of being always has more to it.


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

Becoming Jane as submited 2007 with Appendix 2010

This is the 2007 Article as submitted and with and appendix. When I wrote to Socio March 2008 explaining that the graphics added in the Journal publication had a form and wording that was not faithful to my words or my intent I also experimented with producing my own graphics that would keep faith with my intentions. I circulated these at the time to friends who welcomed them and some trainers incorporated them in their trainees required reading. When preparing handouts for the 2010 Sydney post conference workshop I decided to make it an appendix to the 2007 article. I wrote a page of introduction. It is helpful to have the article available because it grows directly from the article and the ideas I have put forward.


Healing Rifts: Sociodrama in a Maternity Community

Healing Rifts: Sociodrama in a Maternity Community – AANZPA Journal Article2011

This is the article as it was published in the AANZPA Journal.