The Social Atom

The Healing Room at Heartspace

Module Eleven - 30 minutes

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The Social Atom

The Social Atom was developed by J.L. Moreno who formulated a form of psychotherapy called psychodrama, which employed improvised dramatization, role-plays and other therapeutic, spontaneous expressions in healing.

The social atom is a graphic representation of the significant people in our life that shows their relative importance and the psychological/emotional distance we feel from each of them.


Take out some Post-It notes. Pick one color to represent males, one for females, and another for groups.

Make one with your name on it or "ME." Place yourself in the center of the south wall by sticking the Post-It there.

Then make a different note for each of the important people, groups, or animals in your life. People who have had an impact on you positive or negative. People in the past and present, alive or dead. As you make a Post-It for each person, group or animal, place it on the wall spaced according to how close you feel to them psychologically/emotionally.

As you place more Post-Its you can adjust the relative distances as you see fit.

When you are finished, take a picture with your phone. You can also draw a picture of this and use triangles for males, circles for females and squares for groups.

Some examples of social atoms:

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Adding Parts to the Social Atom

When you have completed the social Atom as described above, look closely at all the people and groups you have represented on the wall. Notice that thinking about some of them stirs up feelings, attitudes, or desires. Consider each of these responses as belonging to a part. Pick a new color of Post-It notes to represent parts.

Mark a Post-It for each part having a response to each person or group. There may be a single part that responds to multiple people. If so, you can make multiple representations of that part so that it can be placed near each person it responds to.

You could even start a second social atom on another wall starting with a specific part as the center with all the people and groups arranged according to the same principles used above. Notice that you could do this for many different parts and each atom may be very different for the different parts.

This can be a useful way of understanding the role your parts play in relationships.

Journal About What You Discover

There is scratch paper (recycled junk faxes on one side, blank on the other), writing pads, and sketch pads for you to use to make drawings and writing notes about your Healing Room experience. Take a moment at any time during your Modules, or at the end to do so.

You may also want to bring along your own private journal for this purpose.

Take Your Time

All modules are intended to be done unhurried & at your own pace. The designated timeframes are really just a guess. If you don't finish the module you are doing in the allotted timeframe, just note where you left off and schedule another time where you can finish the module.

For example if you get most of the way through Module One in your first scheduled hour, You can review Module One the second time and leave out a few things, allowing time for the part you didn't get to. Or you could just start out by finishing Module One, and then go on to do a 30 minute module during your hour.

Providing feedback in the private Facebook group will help us make modifications in estimated time, and improve the overall experience of using The Healing Room.

Alternating Bilateral Stimulation

Remember, The Healing Room is set up with a stereo system that can provide audible Alternating Bilateral Stimulation (ABS) which is a component of EMDR therapy (Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing). The unique Alternating Bilateral Stimulation sample played continuously in The Healing Room is called Ocean Crossover and mimics ocean waves moving back and forth across the room at a gentle low volume in the background. It has a relaxing effect and supports the neural integration of new perspectives and healing of negatively charged memories, particularly when it is paired with specific tasks.

Having the ABS playing at a volume loud enough to hear it, but low enough that it seems to fade into the background while you learn these skills, is optimal.