Doris gave us a scholarly exploration of Spontaneity, looking at the social context that affects all of us and of which as individuals and as therapists we can be largely unaware.  The talk was based to a large extent on the work of Jacob Moreno*, the father of psychodrama, one of the modalities in which Doris has been trained.


Doris pointed out that there is much that is pathological in contemporary society. Life has become meaningless and without a sense of belonging and community for many people.  Such people are then given labels and medication, and underlying societal contributors to distress and unease are not addressed.  If society dis-empowers people, how far is it possible for the therapist to re-empower people in the context of a pathological society?


Doris explained that Moreno tells us that “blocked spontaneity causes the neurosis of creativity, ie. passivity,” and speaks about the need for “spontaneity training.”  However,  ways in which this training can be given by a therapist to a client was not much developed in the time available for the talk.


Moreno says of spontaneity that “it is a factor which enables (a person) to reach beyond himself, to enter new situations as if carrying the organism, stimulating, and arousing all its organs to modify their structures in order that they can meet their new responsibilities.”


In the face of so many difficulties in the world today such as climate change, population explosion and lack of community, it can be argued that there is a great need for people to direct anger outwards, demanding for example government action rather than remaining or becoming passive or directing anger inwards.

Doris has written an article on the subject of Spontaneity and has kindly made it  available to HACP, and the article goes into much more detail than is possible in this brief review.

David Brown