Doubling in Couple and Family Therapy
Doubling is a technique developed by Jacob Moreno for use in his group method of psychodrama. A member of the group stands behind the protagonist (the person who defines the dramatic agenda and narrative) and acts as an auxiliary or alter ego – a double – expressing what the protagonist might be holding back or unable to say.
When adapted for use in couple or family therapy, the therapist does the doubling and takes the role of one partner talking to the other or one family member talking to one or more other family members. Instead of standing behind the partner or family member, however, the therapist typically remains seated in their chair. The therapist says something like, “Okay, so I guess you’re saying___” or “Here, I’ll be you talking to Glen and for you I’ll say, ‘Glen, I____’.” If the therapist wants to increase the dramatic effect of the intervention, they wheel their chair over to the person for whom they are speaking (or kneel or sit in a stool or chair next to this...
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