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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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