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This area is designed to compliment our psychodrama training programs as well as hold articles that are stimulating and challenging.

Experiments in Self-Learning - Sugata Mitra

Indian education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education -- the best teachers and schools don't exist where they're needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching. This stuff is just amazing. If you ever wanted to feel hopeful about human nature and our desire to grow beyond what we know then watch this.

Phantoms in the brain: A neuroscience view of social self repair using the psychodramatic method

This rather brilliant article Phantoms in the brain: A neuroscience view of social self repair using the psychodramatic method by my esteemed colleague Dr Phillip D. Carter is well worth a close read. It is one brilliant piece of creative sleuthing and original juxtapositioning where Phil connects up what psychodramatists would term concretisation, a power and potent technique for creating real world representations of inner and past experiences, with some of the profound work that is occurring in areas of neuroscience.

Abstract: Use of mirrors with people with phantom limbs reveals that extraordinary and immediate changes in felt experience can occur when an internal schema in the brain is projected out and then perceived as external. This opens up a fascinating new area of work for group psychotherapy given the discovery of the neurologically embedded social self. Examination of a psychodramatic production of an individual’s internally held social self suggests similar mechanisms are in operation for the updating of the social self schema. It appears that the interpersonal field is a primary factor in the formation of the self and that the corresponding neurobiological structures can be further modified with mirroring of the cognitive, affective and relational aspects of the social self. Understanding these mechanisms will enhance the different techniques of interpersonal mirroring that already occur in most group modalities. Progress will be made as we reflect on the results of putting these new insights and ideas into practice.

A great talk on whether eyewitnesses can create memories?

This talk is a great one about how certainty, when it relates to memories, can be misplaced and can even be very destructive. I guess it is really a great example, though a tragedy for the person involved, of memories being created after the experience. Forensic psychologist Scott Fraser studies how we remember crimes. He describes a deadly shooting and explains how eyewitnesses can create memories that they haven't seen. Why? Because the brain is always trying to fill in the blanks. As he states "The accuracy of our memories is not measured in how vivid they are, nor how certain you are that they are correct."

We are all eyewitnesses at one time or another. Remembering our family discussion from this morning.  Remembering how we went on our last holiday. Remembering how the work performance meeting went. Remembering how the talk by our boss went. The little memories of life. Not as important as the ones described here but just as likely to be off the mark. Especially when you said ...

Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not and other talks

This is a double banger: the first TED talk is a great one about ecologically minded people getting things wrong (and slaughtering 40,000 elephants in the process) and then taking unusual steps to make amends (and transforming some theories about grazing and land care). I have it here because while the talk is wonderfully persuasive and the speaker presents a massive turnaround in their thinking I also notice that the speaker does not reflect to any significant degree on how their certainty that they were right led to many of their subsequent problems. The second part presents some of the work of Robert Burton and his book “On being certain” and a 1hour video from a talk he gave at Google – a rather good one at that and well worth taking the time to enjoy. If that doesn’t give you enough to do then maybe you would like to read his book which can be found here: On Being Certain

When is a self not a self - when it is a role.

Moreno developed his ideas about role theory and they significantly influence how psychodrama is enacted and produced. Role theory suggests that the idea that we an authentic self, an inner self, is simply an idea we have inherited from our culture and does not stand up to close scrutiny. In this extract from Dr Bernie Neville's book Educating Psyche, Neville discusses Moreno's ideas about roles, psyche, identity, self, and such things in a lively and illustrative manner.

Just Stop It

This is a wonderfully silly spoof at learning, therapy and giving advice. It is fairly short and very entertaining. Yet I reckon that many people I know, including myself, have either been tempted to use this technique or else actually used it, with probably similar results. None!

Psychodrama - Robert's journey and a great case example

This is another chapter of a book called “Too good to last: The death of a caring culture” Written by Dr Robert Crawford and reprinted here with his kind permission. This is a great chapter which gives three things - an historical perspective on group psychotherapy, a first person presentation of an experienced professional training in psychodrama, and a cobbled (hence anonymous) case example of working with psychodrama with a person trying to overcome addictions of one type or another.

Talking to strangers is good for you.

Humans are some of the most social creatures on this planet, but step into an elevator, train or public bus and something strange happens: we fall silent, stare at the wall and ignore the strangers surrounding us. But in doing so, we might be missing out on an easy way to make ourselves happier people.

This article examines some recent research to show that talking to strangers bears fruit.


Consciousness - lots of good thinking going into this but its still a mystery

Antonio Damasio, noted researcher and professor of neuroscience at USC, explains how emotions are integral to decision-making. He discusses his experiences working with people with brain damage who are unable to decide things as simple as where to go to dinner. Following this short 3/4 munite talk Demaiso give another talk looking at how every morning we wake up and regain consciousness -- that is a marvelous fact -- but what exactly is it that we regain? Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio uses this simple question to give us a glimpse into how our brains create our sense of self.

Dr Wendy McIntosh - How our language does not serve our clients

This is a video presentatin by Dr Wendy McIntosh where she takes a conference groups through a process highlighting how language that is used does not serve our clients.