Concretisation - that peculair thing that psychodrama does so well.

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Concretisation gives size and form to concepts, feelings and situations. Internal experiences are given symbolic form by choosing an object to represent a feeling, relationship or situation and placing it on the stage, or drawing it on paper.

The whole brain is activated in all learning. When concretisation is used the right side of the brain is activated first. This is the holistic intuitive side. Once you have ‘seen’ the issue (externalised in symbolic form), the left side comes in to play which involves the analytical functioning.

Whilst a concern remains in your head it is possible to kid yourself, to minimise the situation and avoid the stark reality. The toy most of us know as Jack in the box is a good metaphor for this. As long as Jack stays in his box he stays in the dark and we can pretend that Jack is not so big. Once the box is opened the bigness of Jack is seen, his colour, shape, how he stands and what he is made of, is visible. He can be viewed from all sides, all aspects can be seen, and nothing is hidden. When thoughts remain secret and in the dark recesses of our minds there is a greater likelihood of them becoming bigger and thus inevitably they hold more power. Distortions happen in the mind when only one aspect of the mind is used. With the use of concretisation a different perspective is gained and all of one’s faculties are utilised.

Concretisation creates an experience of different aspects of the self, leading to greater self- awareness. Once something is concretised there is an opportunity for a fuller experience. When this occurs all aspects of the self can come to life including the spiritual aspects of life.

Concretisation involves a number of learning processes which are very similar to the many facets involved in experiential learning. Experiential learning is one of the most natural means of learning and it is the one way we all have used as children as we explored our world.

Whenever there is a concrete experience this can often lead onto some examination and reflection. Metaphors are often used in this process to assist us to discover or shed light on the issues at hand and to bring unconscious ideas and emotions to the surface where they can be seen and worked with.

Concretisation, because it is a visual display, predominantly activates our right brain functioning. When this is triggered it can open up new ways of thinking. This is because it is the part of the brain which is the most intuitive and holistic. When the issue has been fully displayed our left- brain is able to analyze the information and this brings about new learning.

The use of concretisation can often enable us to access our inner being, which can connect us to our spiritual selves. For change and learning to be sustained our emotions need to be explored. When this happens spontaneity and creativity are brought into being and it is at this time that the protagonist is in their most active learning phase. When this occurs progressive roles and social atom repair are able to come about.

Concretisation gives physical form to feelings, thoughts or situations. This process makes the protagonist’s concern no longer an abstract notion, but something solid, real and specific. Concretisation tells the internal story by using external images, symbols and metaphors.

This paper is part of the Introduction of Jocelyn Phiskie's thesis which she produced as part of her becoming a certificated Psychodramatist. If you would like to read the rest of this Thesis please contact my on 0411 873851 or use the web email function on this site.