Creative Coaching
Horsing around with role theory
Four of your workshop facilitators.

When I undertook a Masters Degree in Applied Theatre (a theatre in prisons pathway) in Manchester in the late ‘90s, I never dreamed that almost 25 years later I’d be using skills I first developed there in a sublimely beautiful field in North Yorkshire.

Workshop Partners in Crime and other Ventures

Fortunately, I met Martha Lindsell there. Together we set off on professional paths that would diverge and intertwine repeatedly while consistently walking together as friends. 

We have run workshops together in prisons, village halls and now in her horse arena and log cabin. And you can join us. Book here.

Role Theory Applied to Life

Role theory sounds complicated. And it can be. There are massive amounts of academic references from sociology, psychology, social work and our area of knowledge, sociodrama and psychodrama, if you’re into research and learning more. Here are a couple articles from social psychology and sociodrama sites on role theory: 

Role Theory in Social Psychology 

Sociodrama and the Role Play Theories

An invitation (if you’re fairly local to the Sheffield area)

Martha and I have a simple proposal: we are delivering a day-long workshop on 30 September 2023 to explore it with people…and horses. 

This is referred to throughout the literature as an internal mechanism. It’s a shift in consciousness leading to a decision. A small decision, even minute if you will. And it’s possibly imperceptible to other people. 

But not to the horses. That’s why we’re involving them. Not just because they’re awesome and amazing beings. It’s because they are so good at sensing and responding. 

I’ve been using this technique with clients (sans horses!)  and for some, it makes immediate sense and they are able to integrate it into their everyday with remarkable success. 

Check out this piece here at The Full Monti for an account of how that worked for one client.

Why is this relevant?

I’ve been using this technique with clients (sans horses!)  and for some, it makes immediate sense and they are able to integrate it into their everyday with remarkable success. Check out this example of how that worked for one client.

What might be some roles (some practitioners call them ‘personas’ or ‘parts’ too) that you wish to explore?

Some could be valuable and effective. In Morenian theory, we call these progressive roles. (And here’s some bumpf about Dr Jacob Levy Moreno).

Others get you out of bed. They’re important to maintaining your life and relationships but they’re not particularly good at getting you to the next place you want to head. We call these coping roles. 

Let me make it clear, we don’t want to get rid of these; rather, we want to keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t decline into fragmenting roles. 

Fragmenting roles are those that don’t enable us to live wholly. We would be better off not playing those and recognising when we do. Once we are aware of those which are harming us, we can do something about them. 

Will life get better immediately? Probably not. We’re not offering a panacea here. These are opportunities to increase awareness, see things from a different perspective and make small adjustments that can lead to bigger differences. 

Most important to remember, this is all fluid. Today’s progressive role can easily become tomorrow’s coping or even fragmenting role. We live and move in ecosystems that have other people, forces or elements that have an impact on us. 

A day in a field with horses can help us understand where we might be stuck, believe it or not.

So, come and have a play with us and consider your ecosystems and the parts of it you want to celebrate or motivate. 

Lily awaits in the bluebell woods
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Valerie
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