Jacob Moreno Levy, psychiatrist, psychologist, philosopher, sociologist and father of Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Action Methods, is considered the protagonist of the third psychiatric revolution after those of Alfred Binet and Freud for having introduced an inter-personal model of personality as opposed to Freud’s intra-personal model. He added to the concept of transference that of ‘tele’ understood as mutual empathy between two subjects. According to some, in formulating the concept of the network, Moreno intuited and prophesied the advent of the Internet. Many of Moreno’s techniques and strategies for working in groups (from role-playing to psychodramatic restructuring of dreams and events) have been acquired by various approaches and schools of psychotherapy (from Gestalt Therapy to Systemic-Relational Therapy and Family Constellations) often without acknowledging his authorship.
Psychodrama is an action method, often used as a psychotherapy, in which clients use spontaneous dramatization, role playing, and dramatic self-presentation to investigate and gain insight into their lives. Developed by Jacob L. Moreno and his wife Zerka Toeman Moreno, psychodrama includes elements of theater, often conducted on a stage, or a space that serves as a stage area, where props can be used. A psychodrama therapy group, under the direction of a licensed psychodramatist, reenacts real-life, past situations (or inner mental processes), acting them out in present time. Participants then have the opportunity to evaluate their behavior, reflect on how the past incident is getting played out in the present and more deeply understand particular situations in their lives. Psychodrama offers a creative way for an individual or group to explore and solve personal problems. It may be used in a variety of clinical and community-based settings in which other group members (audience) are invited to become therapeutic agents (stand-ins) to populate the scene of one client.
Per approfondire: HISTORY OF SOCIOMETRY, PSYCHODRAMA, GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, AND JACOB L. MORENO, in Social Work, Sociometry, and PsychodramaExperiential Approaches for Group Therapists, Community Leaders, and Social Workers, by Scott Giacomucci.
ABSTRACT: This chapter presents the histories of sociometry, psychodrama, and group psychotherapy while also outlining the history of Jacob L. Moreno, their founder. Major events from Moreno’s life are covered as they relate to the development of his philosophy and the practice of his triadic system, sociometry, psychodrama, and group psychotherapy. The popularity and decline of Moreno’s methods throughout their history are highlighted while offering insights into these historical trends in the USA and globally. Connections are drawn between Moreno’s history and the history of social work while also framing him as a social worker due to the nature of his philosophy, theory, and practice. A comprehensive timeline is offered which depicts the parallel timelines of psychodrama, social work, group therapy, psychology, and society.