The following terms are used interchangeably, beginning with psychodramatic terminology:

  • Protagonist, client, coachee, person, subject
  • Director, facilitator, counselor, coach,

General themes

Fear of using children’s “dolls” with adults, or professionals
What is a “warm-up” and why is it important?

In psychodrama “warm-up” is very important. It prepares the protagonist (actor/client) to take on the role to play in the dramatisation.

The director “warms-up” the protagonist, creating the appropriate state, mentally and physically on stage so that the role can be played in the most real and spontaneous way possible.

In the PoL the director (coach) prepares the protagonist to “enter the role” and creates the situation to be represented on stage.

  • Using both hands helps to focus on the topic being presented.
Adding toy animals, purses, policemen, etc. to the PoL kit

The PoL is based on the psychodramatic technique of Image Building, by Rojas-Bermudez and working with “natural forms” or body positions.

It is based on the assumption that the positions and body expressions in which the figure is positioned represent, in the best way possible, the desired emotion.

  • No figures are used that represent e.g. a policeman or a dog etc.

It’s about customizing the personalising the emotion and action of the role (active role).

Role Theory

Types of Roles

Based on

Moreno J, (1962) Fundamentals of Ed Paidós Sociometry p. 66-68

Rojas-Bermudez (1975) Which is the Sicodrama p. 49-50

Social: boss, police, postman, neighbour

Relatives: father, mother, son, nephew

Psychodramatic: Superman, Trump, Fox,

Pathological: psychotic, neurotic, hypochondriac

What does it mean that roles must be complementary?

• For appropriate communication, the roles at play need to be complementary.
E.g. in regards to Social and Family Roles
• Father – Son
• Wife – Husband
• Boss – Employee
• Friend – Friend
But they’re NOT complementary
• Husband – Mother
• Father – Employee.
• Friend – Son
It might be appropriate
• Maternal wife, as long as the maternal does not become Mother, etc.
• Or fatherly boss, a boss that cares for his employees in a protective way BUT its not the father, and they are not his children.
In both cases, there is a boundary that could be easily broken, creating confusion.

Active Roles

What makes roles different from active roles

Active roles express the action, behaviour and emotion of the roles.

In Active Role Theory “Father, mother, police” are not used BUT the dynamic of the role is used, Communicator, Screamer, love giver et.

You could use police in quotes. E.g. (“Police”- Shout, referring to a father, or husband, boss etc. Although, “Dictatorial Shouter” would be better.

Therefore, the PoL does NOT use figures that represent a “police” but represents “the form” of expression of behaviour. E.g. A person with his arms raised!

In that case, that “shape” (hands raised) is universal but  “police” has different meaning in different places.

Show me

The emotion or feeling that the protagonist expresses “must be represented” in the best possible way in the position of the figure.

If the P says I feel “angry” and place a standing figure, it is guided to position the figure to represent “anger” using if necessary accessories.

It should take as long as it takes for the P to demonstrate emotion and action.

Active Roles and Complementation

For example, if one role on stage is “Embarrassed Escape” you must find the “role” played by the other that causes that role. Ex “Humiliating Accuser”. If the role of the other “is not complementary” EJ, Concerned Helper, that role does not generate Embarrassed Escape, therefore, you must “search” to help the P find the role that generates it.

The Role can be of the person who has put on stage “0” can be external, family, God, Church etc, or internal, self judged

Can a person play different active roles with the same person

Active roles are “active” and dynamic, you can start a relationship by playing constructive roles and move, very quickly, to ambivalent or fragmented roles. Watch Cascade of Roles.

In the fragmentary role (father role) with his daughter and son In both situations, the action is to speak, with the daughter, sexist comments that embarrass her. With his child requesting that you order and maintain your personal hygiene; it generates anger and frustration),

Remembering Active Role is ACTION AND FEELING

In this case “there are” two fathers, one Father of the daughter and Father of the son.

As for action

Talking is not necessarily an action. You can talk without saying anything. It’s one thing to “talk” and another to “communicator,” and “that I communicate.” EJ Communicator Machista (Sentimetio) Juzgador. “o” Sarcastic Humiliator, etc.

With the son, the same, eg, Angry Dictator etc.

Both. The role felt by the [other[ son and daughter gives light to the role that causes that reaction.

In the constructive role my client makes jokes, the action I found is “to be”, then said “to be free”, and the emotion is joy, happiness. The value that appears acurate is freedom.

Making jokes in that form may be because the Protagonist doesn’t “warmed-up” enough with the role. Or that the information the PoL gave him was difficult to process or accept.

Role-playing Example: Life-enjoyer (feeling) Free fun

Cute themes for the Video Conference

We play different roles with the same person

A mother, for example, can play a role with her 14-year-old daughter:

“Joy Companion” When they do a task together

“Rigid judge” when they talk about the “boys” with whom she links. (you could see the “fears” of the mother here)

“Encouraging enthusiast,” when she sees her daughter frustrated with her studies.

Personification of things

We live in a relational world. Life is based on how we respond to external, environmental or internal, physical stimulations, such as body or emotional pain or discomfort such as hopes, fears, dreams etc.

When other people’s roles are named, it makes sense because people “feel” and “act”

When we relate to non-human animated things it is possible to define action but sometimes not feelings, pro example a plant.

But it’s even harder to name the role of a non-animated thing like a mountain or a pain.

In the appointment of Active Roles, a feeling and an action even to the inanimate is crazy, it is to project from oneself an emotion that is complemented by the response that we have with the thing or event.
Hateful Attacker Headache
A Friendly Cozy Mountain
A joyful Guest Hope
A Dark Oppressor Fear
The active role analysis will then invite you to analyse as responsive
Hateful aggressor answered: Furious paralysis
In the analysis of role dynamics, we see that to a fragmented role I have responded with a fragmented “taken role”, empowering the given role.
The “art of living well” is to know how to respond constructively, to the point that the “given role” does not control my life. It could respond as “calm acceptor”. That role could make it easier for me to find better ways to deal with pain. (See relaxed field tense field)
Or, to cheerful Guest perhaps I answer “avoider not deserving” because of guilt etc. In that case, a constructive role has generated a fragmented role.
An invitation to deal, that cao, the guilt.

Pillars of Life

How can I better manage session time? I could only guide the client through 4 Pillars.

The time used depends on the way in which the client reflects and articulates their memories. Some are faster than others, some need to “ruminate” ideas more than others (5 in the Enneagram are usually slower “thinkers”).

The facilitator can speed up the process, properly, by inviting them to move forward.

The technique in the session can also be used by asking only for 4 – 5 memories, and do the technique like that. Afterwards, you can give the client the task of “continuing” with the pillars at home, doing it as an exercise of reflection, meditation and gratitude for life. This would also give a theme for the next session.

The client finds it difficult to find the “message” of each event

Writing the message in “first person” is for many a strange process.
• It’s not “I feel loved”
• It’s: I love you so much!

It is also important when the client repeats the message, to add how the person in the message “called” them (perhaps a nickname, in Carlos’ case it would be: Carlitos, I love you very much) And if the message was in another language, have the client say it in the language they heard it in, even if the coach does not understand it.

• Copy the tone of voice
• Ask the client to repeat it a few times (2-3)
• The coach can also say the message (including the tone of voice and nickname) a few times to the client.

The important thing here is to “warm-up” the actor to the situation, to bring the person to the here and now. Make the person “relive” the situation and “listen” with emotional ears, ears of the soul, of what it is that person/people, in that memory, tell them.

What is done when the experience is with “something” that does not speak, not with a person.

There are situations that remembrance is with an event or things e.g. [Being welcomed], With whom? “The university”. Message: Gabriel, you have achieved your wish, congratulations, now you are a professional. Enjoy every moment.

One with nature: Claudia, You belong here!

Not enough space in the template

It is recommended to print the template on A3 paper for more space.

The person can’t find any positive messages

It’s important to know that, based on V Frankl’s Logotherapy, we all have “pillars” in life, otherwise we wouldn’t be alive, literally.

We cannot allow ourselves as coaches to believe that the client doesn’t have any “pillars” in life.

If the client cannot remember any ‘pillar’ in the Pillars of Life one “does not go to the memory, but let the memory “come” to the person. Warm-up is essential.

This process of remembering “only what builds” is also for many something strange, some think it is a waste of money, “I’m paying to talk about problems” not what I’m doing well.

The person is so fixed on the negative that they can’t think about the positive. This may have been reinforced by previous therapies only based on “lack of”, pain, trauma etc and not on what gives life. In this case it’s like learning to “read and discover” a new language.

There are situations of pain and negative thoughts in general with someone, e.g. father or mother. The person can “resent” having a positive thought with that person whom they’ve despised for a long time.

Sometimes the client finds it hard to find the “message” of each pillar. You might ask “the Maria that you were at the time and who was in that emotion in that pillar of your life: what message would you have to give to yourself today?”

Asking what message would you “listen to now” is used in other techniques, but NOT in the Pillars of Life.
The client speaks in “present tense AS he/she heard the message “at that time”, the client makes it “anew” in their mind. It’s based on the on the psychodrama premise of the “Here and Now”.
For some clients this process could take longer, especially if their present situation is felt as blick or they are remembering situations of pain and suffering.
The warm-up to “that situation in the past” is essential. Guide the client to “to be there”, adding what they feel, what they smell, is a sunny day, or is it raining? That creates the warm-up for the memory to be recalled.
NOTE: I Peeling the Onion technique the client is guided to “change” discouraging or oppressive messages for “new” messages.

Using the technique as a “homework”

Instead of doing the technique in the session the client is given the template and directions (Pillars of life without figures) to do the technique before the next session.
In the next session, the technique is worked on, the client mentions each pillar quickly stopping in what is necessary.
The client is asked to read the first-person “messages” using their name and with the tone of voice they heard the message in.
This provides very valuable information (to the coach) to better understand what is important to the person. (This also enriches for those who use the Enneagram – the fear of the Enneatype is seen through the messages e.g. [Ennea 2] “I love you”.)
Then, you work in the moment when the person feels “not well” (in the middle of the stage) and focusing on the message that produces a positive change.
It’s important to ask “do you believe in that message?”
And work on it if the person says NO


Must I follow every point on each Pillar?

Every Play of Life technique has been designed based on fundamental principles. It is hoped that every PoL facilitator will be able to follow and comply with all directions that are mentioned.
Note: Although you may know the technique well, we encouraged you to keep the directions nearby (Carlos keeps the directions with him throughout the session to ensure he doesn’t miss a step.)

Sharing the Technique with Others

Apart from practicing with family or friends, the client is encouraged to share the technique with family and friends to carry it out on their own, sharing the Pillars without figures.

Also, do the Pillars of marriage, career or work, vacation, etc.

It can also be supplemented with The Celebration Tape.

Pinned “the message”

Invite the customer to write the chosen message on a credit card-sized paper and store it in their wallet.

I have had clients who have shown me the “message” when I met them more than 10 years later.