Linearity has it's place...and of course, that is a larger or smaller space in our psychic frame depending on the mix that made us. Sometimes I just don't have the patience for the "straight and narrow" road; and to mix my metaphors purposely, I sometimes go off script.
Which is why when I "auditioned" for a place in the hospital Psychodrama Training program, I felt immediately at home. The "audition", part of the all day interview process was on stage taking whatever direction was offered. It was intended to measure the internal psychological flexibility, to measure the internal acrobat that would be called on to help the troubled patients find the words they needed to further their self understanding.
Currently, among other endeavors, I am writing a small book on the ABCs of Psychodrama for the use of mental health professionals, and anyone who wants to understand how the Psychodramatic theory functions when applied to our own lives.
For now, as support for the Personal Programs Page, I will try to clarify, in a short readable fashion, some of the concepts that serve as the bone and muscle of the theory.
We begin with the concept of the Role Repertoire. When we are talking about professional actors, we often talk about their role repertoire, their ability to take on a variety of very different roles in very different kinds of movies. I don't remember if Edward G. Robinson ever played any comedy, but Robert De Niro can take his menacing tough-guy role, and turn it into an almost menacing tough guy in a comedy. We say he has the ability to play a wide range of roles.
In real life, using the dramatic lens, we are always is one role or another. That is how we describe the situations, or scenes we find ourselves in. Sometime we say, "so and so has too much drama in his life for me to put up with..." What that generally means is that in the middle of a pleasant conversation, suddenly, for no reason we can decipher, so and so "goes ballistic" and we find ourselves in a "scene" we didn't expect.
That experience is like an "underline" to the idea of role behavior. More often, if we step back and review our day in terms of shifting scenes, and roles, we find at one moment we are in our "waking up" role, "getting ready for the day" role, etc. And if in the middle of that routine we get a call from someone who we have been trying to reach, we shift, and as the conversation goes on, we go back and forth between "eager information giver" and "curious information seeker."
It is central to being able to use this language effectively to UNDERSTAND WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT PRETENDING. The language is used because it is a simple and effective way to think about how we in fact, behave in certain situations, and how we might be able to change that behavior. A repetitive situation will change when we change our behavior, that is when we change our role in the scene. That is where we can influence the other people in the situation to change their roles and in doing that, change the situation.