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This article consists of two main parts. Part 1 describes the core characteristics of a developmental therapeutic theory. The basic content of this theory is the Phenomenological-Dialectical Personality Model (Phe-Di PModel), which rests on six major questions regarding oneself and the surrounding world and constitutes a useful content-oriented frame of reference for psychotherapeutic practice. Part 2 demonstrates how, within this theoretical framework, the psychodramatical "Social Atom" or "Action Sociogram" can be applied, in combination with two self-report diagnostic instruments (the "Social Network Inventory" and the "Moreno Social Atom Projective Test"). For practical use, an elaborated semistructured protocol is given in the appendix. The Action Sociogram enables the protagonist to devise a spatial structure in which the self is constructed in relation to significant others (symbolized by objects and/or other group members). What is specific to the Social Atom method (or "Action Sociogram") is the vivid experience of dialectical oppositions (within an involved affective spatial situational context) in which emotions, cognitions, language, action and effective learning can be strongly integrated. In other words, the protagonist can experience a lively meeting of a dialogical self through dialectical actions and, in so doing, the subsequent therapeutic learning process will be much more effective.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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