Dream Sociodrama differs from Moreno’s psychodrama and role-playing methodologies that are derived from it, such as Gestalt and Constellation Therapy, in that auxiliaries do not inhabit the life issue or dream of the protagonist and then project their interpretations onto the protagonist. Instead, each member makes the life issue or dream of the protagonist their own and each responds to the questions as if it were his or her own dream or life issue. This shifts the focus of the experience from the protagonist to the group and changes the process from personal therapy to collective awakening. For a detailed description of Dream Sociodrama, see Dream Sociodrama.
IDL Dream Sociodrama Protocol
Joseph Dillard, LCSW, Ph.D.
What are three fundamental life issues that you (the protagonist) are dealing with now in your life?
(The group votes on a life issue to focus on, but all three are addressed in the Dream Sociodrama. Alternatively, a dream or nightmare is used.)
Tell me a dream you remember. It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand.
Why do you think that you had this dream?
If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?
(The group can vote on which character from the dream to interview. Generally, either a threat, such as an attacker or fire, or a neutral, objective character, such as a house or car, is a better choice than a lover or family member, alive or deceased.)
(The following questions are first answered from the perspective of each auxillary as if they had the life issue or the dream; they are not attempting to become, project onto, or interpret the experience of the protagonist. They are speaking for and about themselves as they address the protagonist. Later, after the responses of auxillaries to the entire questionnaire, the protagonist is given the opportunity to answer any of the same questions from their own perspective.)
(Character), look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see…
_____, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?
_____, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?
_____, what aspect of (the speaking auxillary) do you represent or most closely personify?
________, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?
(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)
(The following seven questions regarding qualities are used in individual dream and life issue interviews but are optional for Dream Sociodramas.)
________, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing? Why?
Confidence, 0-10. Why?
Empathy, 0-10. Why?
Wisdom, 0-10. Why? I have what wisdom I need to be myself and to accept it.
Acceptance, 0-10. Why?
Inner Peace, 0-10 Why?
________, how would (the speaking auxillary)’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?
(Character), if you could live (the speaking auxillary)’s life for him, how would you live it differently?
________, if you could live (the speaking auxillary)’s waking life for him today, would you handle (the speaking auxillary)’s life issues differently? If so, how?
________, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of (the speaking auxillary)’s life?
________, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for (the speaking auxillary) to imagine that he is you and act as you would?
________, why do you think that you are in (the speaking auxillary)’s life?
________, why do you think (the speaking auxillary) had this dream?
________, why do you think (some dream event happened) or (some character) was in the dream?
________, why should (the speaking auxillary) pay any attention to what you have said? Aren’t these just a projection of (the speaking auxillary)’s own wishes and desires?
Thank you, character! And now a couple questions for (the speaking auxillary; later for the protagonist):
What have you heard yourself say?
If this experience were a wake-up call from your life compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?
Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made: