Our bodies change our minds!

Amy Cuddy starts by asking us to pay attention to what we’re doing with our bodies. Are our shoulders hunched? Are we trying to not bump into the person next to us? Are we sprawled out? She encourages us to notice how our non-verbals effect us! She points to research that the body language of others effects us immediately. This is relevant to psychodrama because we often work extensively with body language, reshaping body posture, and experimenting with body movement as a warm-up trigger for new roles. Amy Cuddy starts by asking us to pay attention to what we’re doing with our bodies. Are our shoulders hunched? Are we trying to not bump into the person next to us? Are we sprawled out?

The following quote from Moreno will show how this idea is one psychodramatists work with. ‘Warming up process’ is a technical term deriving from discussion of spontaneity work. Spontaneity is explored through the study of spontaneous states, states or roles into which an individual throws himself suddenly. Such states are usually felt by the acting subject as completely novel experiences, frequently, in fact, there is no concrete precedent in the life history of the subject for the role portrayed. A stenographer may be called on to express anger in the role of a policeman. These spontaneous states are brought into existence by various starters. The subject puts body and mind into motion, using body attitudes and mental images which lead to the attainment of the spontaneity state. This is called the warming up process. (Moreno, 1956, Psychodrama Vol 1, p. 244 footnote)