One thing that I learn from participating in psychodrama sessions is that there are certain universal experiences that resonate with every human being and that tap into our shared emotional experiences as human beings.  Betrayal resonates.  Relationships resonate – father and son, mother and daughter, husband and wife.  Identifying which of those universal issues is present in our client’s story can be key to helping a jury internalize that story.

Resonate – like when you strike a note on a piano and then hum that exact note, you don’t just hear it, you can feel it within.

When preparing a client using psychodrama, necessarily there are others present to help fill the roles – office staff or other attorneys involved in the case.  During the process, when an element of the story appears that resonates with the others that are present, that may be a sign that this is a part of the story that you need to develop and focus on at trial.

When preparing a client for trial recently, a scene arose that involved the client trying to call family from the jail, and it captured the emotions of someone who has been wrongfully arrested and who has no local family that can come to secure their release – helplessness, a feeling of being lost and alone in a frightening place.  It affected everyone in the room, in part because it touched on the shared experience of family relationships.  Everyone has felt lost and alone at some point, even if it was not in a jail cell, and everyone knows how it feels to want desperately to be home and to need their family.

It resonated with us, and, although it may not be the most important information for the jury to have, we saw that it was one of many parts of this person’s story that will likely resonate with a jury.

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