Psychodrama is popular in trial lawyer circles. This weekend it is taught at our trial lawyer convention. I do not attend. Happily.
I don’t care for the term psychodrama. I’ve heard many good reviews from friends and colleagues. I know many of the people who teach it. But honestly, just hearing the word psychodrama causes a bit of a nose wrinkling reaction deep within me.
Please don’t hate me or think any less of me for being honest about this. Psychodrama is the “in” thing. More power to everyone who can learn from and benefit from these techniques. But for me, it is just too much hullabaloo. Too much in the brain. Too much technique. Too much consciousness for that which is in the intuitive realm.
One of the most wonderful but also emotionally horrific opportunities we have as plaintiff lawyers, is to learn about our clients and their families and friends. We get to hear their private stories. We get invited into their homes and hearts. It is humbling to know how much we are trusted. They know we are there only to help. And that we will never hurt them. But still we are lawyers. Doing a job.
When I interview survivors and other people who have been personally touched and affected by a loss, I do not do psychodrama. I do not go through a checklist. I do not have an advance plan. I have no outline. I do not have a specific end goal. I tell them that I am Oprah and they are my guest. But there is something else that goes on and the best way I can describe it is to talk about Star Trek.
Now I am not Spock emotionally. Just ask my kids. However, I do appear to have developed a Spock like trait. It is the Mind Meld.
The person I am interviewing will sit down. We will get as close as feels right. Lock eyes, and go to wherever we end up going. We are human to human. There is no artifice. I don’t mind if we are speaking in present or past tense. It doesn’t matter if we are physically acting out what happened, or just telling the story. Our emotions are connected. There is no judgment. The anxiety fades away.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t learn techniques like psychodrama if they help.
But for me, I’m all about the Mind Meld.
There is an after effect however. When Spock came out of a Mind Meld, he felt a bit faint. This is true also for me. Mind Meld is an almost out of body experience because it is all about the other person. Every ounce of my being is focused on seeing, hearing, understanding, comforting, acknowledging, validating and being fully there with the other person during our journey. When we separate from this bond, recovery is needed.
And so this weekend, after the convention, I drive to a small city. Engage in four Mind Melds. Then needing to decompress, find the local theater through Fandango. And watch Trainwreck for the third time. Amy Schumer is hilarious.
Photo: The theater