Bion & Basic Assumptions
The triangle is a meaningful metaphor in psychology and group work, especially with trauma survivors. One noteworthy concept, useful for our examining the dramatic action and characters of The Great God Pan, is the drama triangle.The DT was made popular 40 years ago by noted psychiatrist Stephen Karman who specialized in Transactional Analysis. His drama triangle conceptualizes what he believed were universal victim/perpetrator/rescuer dynamics operating within and between human beings. Damsel-in-distress, villain & hero is a popular interpersonal translation of this concept.
In her book, The Body Remembers, trauma specialist Babette Rothschild, MSW states “the consequences of trauma … vary greatly depending on the age of the victim, the nature of the trauma, the response to the trauma, and the support to the victim in the aftermath… [Victims] may alternate periods of over-activity with periods of exhaustion as their bodies suffer the effects of traumatic hyper-arousal of the ANS [autonomic nervous system]. Reminders of the trauma they suffered may appear suddenly, causing instant panic. They become fearful, not only of the trauma itself, but also of their own reactions to the trauma. The body’s signals that once provided essential information become dangerous” (p. 13, 14). The mind may or may not be capable of conscious memory of trauma’s origins. But the body remembers.
Good fortune seems to follow our project. I received an email in December from Tom Teasley, a professional musician, composer and sound healer with an international following. We had the good fortune to collaborate with Tom during our presentation of Off the Map at AGPA in 2008. Tom’s interpretive style of creating and using music for both theatrical and healing purposes is ready made for our projects. So when Tom reached out in hopes of collaborating again, it felt as if the gods themselves had intervened on our behalf. Tom will join our rehearsals and accompany our play reading of The Great God Pan with an original musical interpretation in Boston.You can hear a sampling of Tom’s musical genius, by clicking here.
RWTG was the Invited Panel of Section VIII, (Couple and Family Therapy & Psychoanalysis), at the Spring Meeting of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association held in Santa Fe, New Mexico last April 15-21, 2012. The Meeting was titled, “The Leading Edge of Creativity”.
Members of RWTG presented a dramatic reading of the play God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza, followed by an audience discussion. The presentation was titled, “When Diplomacy Fails and Couples Go Ballistic: A Theatrical Case Study”.
The acting ensemble included John Dluhy, Mary Dluhy, Molly Donovan and Barry Wepman. The reading was directed by Bob Schulte. Joyce Lowenstein, current President of Section VIII, was the discussion moderator.
The presentation offered this perspective on the use of theater to illustrate principles of couples and family therapy: “Presenting a theatrical case study has certain advantages. The ‘as if’ of the theater allows us to become emotionally engaged and intellectually curious, but without the burden of an actual therapeutic mandate. The discussion segment… invites the observer to contemplate what it might be like to encounter parents/spouses like those portrayed in the play, in an actual therapeutic situation. We aspire to discover something new with you–about our clinical work, our subjectivities and the cultures we co-create.”
RWTG presented a play reading with post-performance discussion at the APA Division 39 Section VIII (Couple and Family Therapy and Psychoanalysis) on April Saturday, April 16, 2011 in New York City. The workshop was entitled, “Complicated Grief: Exploring Couple and Family Dynamics in the Wake of the Death of a Young Child Through a Reading of the play Rabbit Hole. The RWTG actors included John and Mary Dluhy, Hallie Lovett, Rosemary Segalla, Rob Williams. Bob Schulte directed the play presentation portion of the program. The discussants were Molly Donovan and Bob Schulte. Joyce Lowenstein, PhD, President-Elect of Section VIII, served as discussion facilitator.