What is Jacob Moreno’s Psychodrama?

The  Moreno Psychodrama  is a method that seeks a deep and transformative action, working both interpersonal relationships as private and collective ideologies that sustain them. It is applied creatively in the fields of health, education, organizations and social projects.

Moreno’s Psychodrama is guided by emotion, by the group and by co-creation, as it seeks to promote spontaneous states, to discriminate and integrate, with a certain harmony, the individual with the collective, the internal world with the shared reality. It produces emotional catharsis and cognitive insights. For this, it uses both verbal and non-verbal communication.

The origin of Psychodrama

Psicodrama was born from Teatro de Improviso . Jacob Levy Moreno (1889-1974) created a Romanian psychiatrist who lived in Austria and the United States.

In 1925 he founded the Theater of Spontaneity , in which, boldly, he invited the public to create his own history, spontaneously theatricalizing it, in the best style of the shows of the Commedia dell’Arte, performed in the century. XVII, in the streets of Italy multifaceted and rich in dialects of the time.

How does Moreno’s Psychodrama work?

Moreno’s psychodrama operates on a stage or stage (the place of dramatic action) with a protagonist, (individual or group), who catalyzes the focus of the action.

The coordinator of the works and director of the dramatic action can be assisted by other professionals, called auxiliary egos , whose main functions are:

  • incarnate absent people important in the structuring of conflicts,
  • take the customer’s place,
  • explicit hidden feelings,
  • create new resonances and counterpoints to the experiences that cause suffering

Such a method of action stages stories, embodies internal or mythical characters, develops plots, creates supplementary realities. In the here and now scenes are depicted that can portray memories of the past, situations lived in an incomplete way, conflicts, dreams, and even ways of properly dealing with future events. Unique ways of being are evident, social and cultural meanings of the lived, which can be transformed.

The terms protagonists, soliloquy, scene, scenario, director, role show not only the theatrical origin of Psychodrama, but also the intrinsic permanence of the revolutionary and popular possibility of Performing Arts at the center of psychodramatic intervention. With the difference that in  Psychodrama  the aesthetic result can be good, but it should not guide the process, as it happens in conventional theater.

The  Psychodrama  has the concept of spontaneity, creativity , the theory of roles and group psychotherapy as basic points of his theory, as well as others such as:

  • Tele (ability to perceive objectively what happens in situations and what happens between people),
  • Empathy (tendency to feel what you would feel if you were in the situation and circumstances experienced by the other person.),
  • Co-unconscious (experiences, feelings, desires and even fantasies common to two or more people, which occur in an “unconscious state”) and
  • Identity Matrix (place of birth)

Conception of man in Psychodrama

For  Moreno, it  is inherent in every man the ability, when entering into relationships with people and the world, to do it spontaneously, that is, adequate and in tune with the movement, giving new and creative responses to new situations.

An important difference between Moreno’s psychodrama and Freud’s psychoanalysis

Moreno ‘s concept of spontaneity ( factor e )   is strongly opposed to Freudian psychic determinism. For  Moreno , the relentless search for determinants for any and all experiences led Freud to an endless pursuit, which often ended in forced interpretations, which considered the movement in which the experience took place …

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