Contraindications

Sociometric strategies such as this one can be way too explicit in early-formation stages of a group and/or in a group with vulnerable, traumatized, or very frightened group members. In order for this strategy to be effective, the group must have some level of trust in the leader's capacity to hold conflict and in their own abilities to hold strong feelings while also processing sometimes difficult feedback.

The group must also have the opportunity to continue processing in subsequent group meetings. Unless this technique is heavily modulated with didactic information, such as in a training workshop, it should not be used in groups that meet only a few times, as it takes time for the impact of the exercise to be metabolized by the participants.

Finally, this is a task that can have adverse effects on work groups if there is little or no follow-up or sustainable process for working through the relational tensions that are revealed in the sociograms and/or insufficient sociometric criteria have been included (meaning that the personal preferences of the group members have not been identified for the group's work task, such as "who would you most trust to fly with on a dangerous mission," etc.).

REFERENCES

Blatner, A. & Blatner, A. (1988). Foundations of psychodrama: History, theory, & practice, (Third edition). NY: Springer Publishing.

Gershoni, J. (Ed.). (2003). Psychodrama in the 21st century: Clinical and educational applications. New York: Springer.

Hale, A. (1985). Conducting clinical sociometric explorations: A manual forpsy-chodramatists and sociometrists. Roanoke, VA: Author (available: Toronto Centre for Psychodrama and Sociometry, http://www.tcps.on.ca/books.html). Author contact: www.sociometry.net.

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