Sociatry

National Psychodrama Training Center nptc at snet.net
Wed Nov 19 14:24:31 UTC 2014


Now that those of us who enjoy soaring flights into the
abstract  (admittedly I am one)
have taken Moreno to the quantum level, perhaps it is time to return to more
mundane and less fanciful aspects of sociometry and sociatry, the latter defined
as applied sociometry that includes group psychotherapy and psychodrama.
 
As I see it, there are two major problems: Learning how to
be a sociometrist/sociatrist; and making an opportunity to practice. They are
linked. One learns to be a sociometrist by practicing sociometry. That’s the
way Moreno learned and Who Shall Survive? suggests that it was not so easy.
 
 Moreno was
extremely lucky to have impressed Dr. Morse who invited him to make her
institution his research laboratory. The Hudson School project is the only major
sociometric experiment ever conducted. Moreno knew that it needed to be
replicated to confirm his findings. That has yet to be done. ‘Tain’t easy to find a community that will
lend itself to such an endeavor. Paradoxically, although sociometry is
essentially democratic, at present a true sociometric experiment can probably be conducted only in an
authoritarian setting—such as a correctional institution—where there is an
authority figure that can direct that it be done. The only communities that I
have found that will undertake a sociometric exploration of themselves are
psychodrama training groups, and sometimes the members have a lot of resistance
to the prospect even though the community has a short life and the criteria are
generally rather innocuous.
 
Curiously enough, the leaders and membership of the American
Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama have refused to entertain a
sociometric exploration of this community, a project that Ann Hale has repeatedly
called for and to which I once added my voice, even though there are rumors that it is an organization with problems that a sociatrist would welcome.

J. N.
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