bits of information on Psychodrama, Sociometry, Group Psychotherapy, associated subjects such as ro

bits of information on Psychodrama, Sociometry, Group Psychotherapy, associated subjects such as ro
From the Presentation: ACORNography: The Theories of J. L. Moreno and Others

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monodrama (Autodrama)

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In my book, The Psychodrama Companion, I briefly described a monodrama, (also called an autodrama). It is in the "Warm-up Expanded" chapter and suggests its use as a warm-up, which can lead to a psychodrama enactment. It can be done with an audience or alone.

In a monodrama, the protagonist plays all roles; self, the director, the double, and the auxiliary egos. No other person is used on stage. The protagonist calls for role reversals, uses props, does self-presentations, and speaks when in double and auxiliary roles. This is especially good to use in training sessions to test the spontaneity of the trainees.

While in training, I did a personal monodrama that examined how my father's death inhibited my moving forward in life. While soliloquizing I pulled a heavy duffel bag around the stage to indicate how his death impeded my progress.

A second personal monodrama dealt with my smoking habit. It explored the comforting, relaxing experience when smoking and also the harmful effects. In a final role reversal when I said I wanted to quit, my cigarettes told me to go to hell. That angered me enough to quit. It's strange how anger is so motivating.

I've had clients do monodramas in relation to how they fit into their family, workplace, and social situations; in short, their social atoms and sociometry.

This warm-up/intervention/enactment is quite versatile; provides psychodramatists with a lot of information; and can lead in many directions whether in a group, individual, couple, or family session.

It's important for group members to share 
with people who have done a monodrama.

For ordering information about The Psychodrama Companion see a blog several postings below or contact me:

Discovering New Worlds: Transformational Advances in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy -

Please join us for our 77th Annual Conference, on May 2-5, 2019 at the Manchester Downtown Hotel, Manchester, NH. Visit for more information.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Hidden Twins

Olivia Lousada, a psychodrama friend of mine in London has created a website, It includes a video of a modern dance choreographed by her. The dance represents and communicates the relationship between opposite sex twins. She has also written a book about that relationship.

This presents a different form of a psychodrama. As creativity and spontaneity are explored, I am continually struck by the beauty, expansiveness, and wonderful differences of the modality.

You can use dance as a warm-up. Have group members use movement and "dance out" something from their life. To help those with no rhythm, have everyone dance at the same time, which gives the dance-challenged encouragement and helps them hide a little. The important element is for people to re-experience something from their lives.

The dance warm-up can be expanded. Ask for volunteers (protagonists) to dance out a part of their life. Auxiliary ego and double dancers can be added. Use role reversals and other psychodrama interventions. Direct it as with any psychodrama. You can do a director's interview to determine the gist of the dance; it's time, place, circumstance, and auxiliary egos. It's important to either dance in silence or with words and sounds.

            I'm sure you will enjoy the video mentioned in the first paragraph. 
                                            Moreno would approve.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

All Done By Kindness

The following poster was one used by David Devant, perhaps England's greatest 20th Century magician and one of the world's best.

It may be hard to read but below Devant's name is a slogan, "All done by kindness."

That brought to mind what my primary psychodrama trainer, Carl Hollander, said: "Be kind and you will have a good psychodrama."

Carl was not talking about being soft. He knew the director must impel protagonists to expose their deepest issues, purge them, find understanding, integrate the experience, learn new ways of dealing with the issues, and move on in life.

We show kindness by being tough, not mean. That may require that we make the protagonists uncomfortable. A catharsis is not comfortable and many of our protagonists need to reach the catharsis of abreaction in order to break out of the morass of the past.

We fail our protagonists if we are not tough enough to help them through their psychodramatic process.

(A larger image of the Devant poster can be found online at

Monday, May 29, 2017


To say it simply, The Psychodrama Companion, is like no other book/textbook in the field. It is 600, 8 ½" x 11" pages and weighs about 4 pounds. As published in the U.S., it is divided into a two-volume set. The price is $84 for both volumes plus $5 shipping in the U.S. To order within the U.S. use:

Published outside the U.S. it is printed as one book and costs USD $84 plus shipping. 
NOTE: When ordering outside the U.S. use the following site:    [Show all hyphens.]

Both contain the same information and applications about warm-ups, Psycho- drama, Sociometry, Group Psychotherapy, the Social Atom, the Canon of Creativity, Role Theory, and more. So much more that I have included the six page Table of Contents below:

The price of the two Volume set is $84 plus shipping. Shipping in the US is $5. 

To order go to to pay by credit card. 

If you want to pay by check, send it to:
     Bill Wysong
     276 Crystal Park Rd.
     Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Include your mailing address. Please print and make sure to include your zip code.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

About Groups: Election Results

J.L. Moreno observed the following sociometric principles of groups. With this information you can determine why Donald Trump won the election and why Hillary Clinton lost. However, this blog is not about politics, but is an analysis of groups. It is not meant to be a forum for political beliefs. These principles were included in my new textbook, The Psychodrama Companion, now available at

Sociodynamic Effect
People in power will find others to add to, or maintain, their power. 
Essentially, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Just observe the political process, corporate environment, or motorcycle gang. Clinton attracted a certain constituency to add to her power but ignored others. Trump added those others to his power.
Law of Social Gravitation 
People move toward others who generate their spontaneity. 
Those who generate our spontaneity have roles or counter-roles that we want. Think about people who attract you and analyze the situation based on this law. Your spontaneity will attract others but you must generate their spontaneity if you wish to keep them. Trump generated the spontaneity of people who felt disenfranchised.
Sociometric Cleavage 
A group out of power will disrupt a group in power. 
When the Sociodynamic Effect reaches a certain point, people at the “bottom” will revolt if they are not heard, if the group is going in an undesirable direction, or if there are too many rules. The group will then split into factions and each will try to take over the leadership. Not only did the people out of power disrupt those in power, they took the power.

These principles can happen on a smaller scale, for instance, in your groups. That is why the knowledge of Sociometry is so important.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Thoughtful Thoughts To Think About

Perhaps the empty chair should be called the "projection chair." We imagine someone in the chair and project that image upon the chair. The primary mechanism of transference is projection. Does that mean we in transference with a chair?

I recently finished reading John Nolte's book, The Philosophy, Theory and Methods of J.L. Moreno: the man who tried to become God. It is excellent and I can't recommend it highly enough. I believe it is the best book written about the subjects of the title.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Cornerstone of All Forms of Group Psychotherapy

Moreno wrote in Who Shall Survive? (1934, page xxx; revised edition 1953) the following that are divided into several parts for your contemplation:

"Four aspects of group psychotherapy struck me already then; they became later the cornerstones of all forms of group psychotherapy:
1)   the autonomy of the group;

2)   that there is a group structure and the need for knowing more about it, group diagnosis as a preliminary to group psychotherapy;

3)   the problem of collectivity; prostitution represents a collective order with patterns of behavior, roles and mores which colors the situation independent from the private participants and the local group;

4)   the problem of the anonymity. When a client is treated within the framework of individual therapy, he is alone with the doctor, his ego is the only focus, he has a name, his psyche is highly valued private property. But in group psychotherapy there is a tendency towards anonymity of membership, the boundaries between the egos weaken, the group as a whole becomes the important thing."

Who Shall Survive? is available on line at Click on "RESOURCES". The following screen has a title, "Books". There you will find Who Shall Survive? and    many other titles.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Screwed Up

A few weeks ago I directed a psychodrama workshop for an alcohol and drug conference. The first woman, Flora, who presented herself as a protagonist said, "I'll do it if no one else wants to. But if someone else wants to do it, they can." Another woman Salli said that she would like to work. Flora said, "Well she can do it then." I encouraged her not to defer to another if she wanted to work. She said she was willing to defer to Salli.

Salli wanted to work on a friend who suffered extreme emotional problems and chose Flora to play that role. I carefully explained how role reversals were done. Flora could not understand what was required of her after several role reversals and additional explanations. The audience was making sounds of disbelief.

I screwed up. Flora should have replaced, but my concerns were that it would hurt her self esteem and that it would take too much time to bring in a new person. Bad decisions.

I screwed up. My first concern should have been for the protagonist and audience. I could have told Flora that I wanted to try someone else in the role. Formulating the words in the moment would not have been easy for me. I have now found words to use in the future.

The psychodrama worked out well; the protagonist had good resolution and was happy as was the audience. But I had to feed Flora words to use and found other ways of circumventing her lack of understanding. It could have been much smoother and better with a different auxiliary.

A newspaper interview of Jonathan Moreno and his book about his father, J.L. Moreno, titled, Rediscovering the Impromptu Man, can be found at:

Friday, November 28, 2014


John Nolte responded to a statement made on with the following quote. I think it needs to be brought to everyone's attention to review and refresh. The quote has been divided for easier reading on this blog.

“5)  The Sociometric Experiment—The objective of Who Shall Survive? Was to describe a sociometric experiment and not merely to introduce a number of techniques. The first sentence in the book ‘A truly therapeutic procedure cannot have less an objective than the whole of mankind’ indicated my intention. It is disconcerting that this has been so completely misunderstood although in writing the book I have put this idea straight under the nose of the reader. It is stranger yet that this sentence is the most frequently quoted phrase of the book and that still its meaning has rarely been appreciated. 

To demonstrate the idea, the book analyzes and enfolds an entire community and tries to turn it from an untherapeutic community into a therapeutic one—within the limits of its setting—by means of various methods. It appears that for many this sentence has been taken at best as a poetic metaphor for an ailing society and gently pushed aside. As a consequence, the immediate meaning of the entire book has been overlooked.

....The principle task of the experiment was to initiate a therapeutic process which involves then entire community, not only the so-called ‘inmates’, but the entire staff, from the superintendent down to every teacher, social worker, minister, clerical worker, farm worker, manual laborer, chauffeur, carpenter, electrician. The old adage ‘Physician heal thyself’ was replaced with a new one, ‘Community, heal thyself’.”

     SCIENCE OF MAN. Sociometry A Journal of Inter-personal Relations 
     and Experimental Design, Vol. XVIII, December, 1955 No. 4 pp 23-24.

My trainer, Carl Hollander, stressed that the goal of sociometry was to find the criterion/criteria to bring people together. The purpose was to create an environment so that all could express their spontaneity and creativity.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Moreno History: Questions and Answers


1.   Where was the first recorded Psychodrama and what year was it done?

2.   Moreno interacted with children at a park in Vienna.
     a.  What was the name of the park?
     b.  What was the year in which he first did this?
     c.  What was the significance of this in Moreno history?
     d.  What did this interaction with children lead to?

3.   What was the significance of Kömodienhaus?

4.   What is the date of the first edition of Who Shall Survive?, Moreno's               seminal work.

The answers to the questions above can be found in Who Shall Survive? by     J. L. Moreno and/or in Rene Marineau's Jacob Levy Moreno 1889-1974, the only unbiased, un-glorified, well-researched biography of Moreno.

Who Shall Survive? can be found online at, click on Library. Pages xiii through cviii contain a lot of historical information.

Take some time to think about them and then scroll down to the answers below.


1.   Many people believe that 
April 1, 1921 marks the first psychodrama at the
      Kömodienhaus,                                               .                
      It was not.
      Marineau wrote (pages 67-68) "In or around 1921, he met a patient who was instrumental in teaching him something about mental health.… He [the patient] wanted Moreno to help him die and asked him to be a partner in his suicide…" Moreno and Marianne, Moreno's love interest, helped the client act out various scenarios relating to the patient's desire for death. "Here, Moreno is giving psychodramatic treatment for the first time."

2.   Moreno interacted with children at a park in Vienna.
     a.  What was the name of the park?
          The Augarten. (Moreno, p. xviii)
     b.  What was the year in which he first did this?
     c.  What was the significance of this in Moreno history?
          As Marineau wrote (p. 39), " Moreno not only told stories. He played games with the children, games that called upon children's spontaneity, but also challenged the values inherited from their parents and teachers." Too much is read into the Augarten anecdote. Answers given on some CP and TEP exams were that this was the beginning of psychodrama, the beginning of sociometry, or was were Moreno developed spontaneity theory. Neither Moreno nor Marineau make mention of these three items. 
         Can we liken Moreno's position in front of or on the limb of the tree as being on a stage? Of course, but it was 10 years later before psychodrama came about. And where would you naturally stand if running a group for children in such a park? Moreno (p. xviii) does mention that his choosing the theater over religion was idée fixe. 

     d.  What did this interaction with children lead to?
           Marineau suggests (p. 39) that the insecurity of parents, the school administration, and the police may have been the reason that Moreno stopped the Augarten experience. At about this time Moreno had also created a theater for children to invent and improvise plays presented in the Augarten or in a small hall. This came to an end because of World War I. Moreno realized that he should enter the larger world of the adult while using children as models to, "...envision a new order of things or to create a new form."

3.   What was the significance of Kömodienhaus?
      Marineau (p.71), "From a historical standpoint, the evening of 1 April 1921 was the first demonstration of what Moreno called sociodrama."

4.   What is the date of the first edition of Who Shall Survive?, Moreno's                     seminal work.
     The first edition was 1934. Many people use the 1953 date of the second edition. This is unfortunate because it does not acknowledge Moreno until almost twenty year later. This allows others to slip in and take credit for portions of his work.

There is a good amount of confusion in Who Shall Survive?. The following headings he used will tax you. They are listed in the order found in the book. He did not list these and other headings in strict chronological order:
1910, Genesis of Psychodrama
1911, Genesis of Spontaneity
1912, Genesis of Sociometry
1911, The Psychodrama of God, the Axiodrama
1914, Definition of Psychodrama [Good for a laugh.]
1913-1914, Genesis of Group Psychotherapy
The question to ask: Did he create these at the dates given above or did he apply later thinking to previous happenings? One heading that is accurate is the last. He was the first to do true group psychotherapy; where participants interacted from the start (pages xxviii-xxx.) There were groups of eight to ten prostitutes that met two or three times a week. It wasn't until 1932 that the term, "group psychotherapy" was used. 
Do you know what happened during that year?