Obituaries and Arrangements   for Adam Blatner   (As of  February, 2005)

Dear Family, if I die before I can tell you all this, unexpectedly, or when I die and you want more specifics, here's some suggestions. I want to make this major role transition easier for you.

Below are ideas / instructions:
     1. Initial Moves Regarding Safe Deposit Box, Insurance Policies, etc..
     2. Disposal of my remains
     3. Obituaries you can email to various groups, written with my involvement in those groups as the relevant content
             3a. Whom to Notify: A list.
     4. How and where to sell my books and stuff

1.Initial Moves I At Death: (Money)  Clear out safe deposit boxes for papers.
     Notify Prudential Insurance for Whole Life Policy. Beneficiary: Allee Blatner, my wife. Secondary beneficiaries, my adult children, David Blatner & Alisa Piette and their families.

 2. My remains--the shell or body that once my soul inhabited--are just that, what remains when the spirit has joined the Great Spirit. (Who knows, maybe I'll get re-processed. Reincarnated? Meet my Loved Ones? You know, I'm not worried. It's an adventure. Even if it's just nothingness, I view my life as a grand musical piece, beginning, middle, and end.) I'll just let go into it all and have faith that whatever God wants is okay by me. I'm just "God's Water-Boy."
Arrange for cremation. Make it inexpensive. No elaborate ceremony. Memorial later.
    (I heard of two other ways–cheaper than cremation: One is being "reduced," dissolved in Lye, then liquid neutralized. Other is, believe it or not, fast-frozen, smushed up, and composted. Intriguing, if those options come available. The idea of optimally promoting life, pushing up daisies, as they say, or "home-grown tomatoes," is really rather appealing!)

3. Obituaries and whom to notify:   Post Notice on my Website:
   Adam Blatner has Passed Away: For brief obituary, see his bio. Other obituaries are available depending on the reader's affiliation–i.e., with which aspect of this man's multifaceted life are you most associated?
   Psychiatry        Psychodrama    Drama Therapy    Applied Theatre
   Square Dancing    Folk Dancing    Cartooning        Extended Family
   Singing        Philosophy        Education        Consciousness Transformation
see autobio:/obituaries

    In Sun City, Texas (if I'm still living there or moved away within the previous year, perhaps): Those who might wish to attend from elsewhere are welcome. Schedule about 2 - 3 weeks after his death. Put out announcement:
       Adam Blatner has passed away. Many of you might want to celebrate his life in a memorial ceremony, where you can share with his relatives and other friends what special memories you shared and what he has meant to you. There will be a memorial service at the Sun City Ballroom on x... x... time...  Should you choose to offer a gift in his honor, in lieu of flowers, a donation to the Institute for Noetic Sciences will be appreciated.

3a. Notification List:   And see chart above re whom to send which obituaries.

   (1). Family-Extended

    (2). Professional:
          (a) Psychiatry–American Psychiatric Association Newspaper    (He was a Life Fellow,-- a member since around 1966, a Fellow since around 1992, and a Life Fellow since around 2000.)
           (b) Psychodrama:
                  -- Grouptalk listserve:    email to:
                  --the American Society for Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama
                  -- The International Association of Group Psychotherapy–psychodrama Section
                  -- The British Psychodrama Association
                 --  Helen Kress /or managing editor,  Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Psychodrama & Sociometry

            (c) Drama Therapy   the National Association of Drama Therapists
            (d) Miscellaneous
                    -- John Garcia, Texas State U. Dept of Counseling
                    -- Thelma Duffey,  Association for Creativity in Counseling
                    -- Derrick Klaasen or Paul Wong at the Institute for Personal Meaning
                    -- Joyce or Ken Beck at the Crossings Austin  ?
                    -- David or Dana Tucker or others at
                    -- editor, the Arts in Psychotherapy Journal
                    -- Creative Arts Therapies
                               Ken Gorelick, M.D., Poetry Therapist
                               Drama in Education, Applied Theatre
                               Emotional Intelligence, Nexus EQ     Josh Freedman
        Personal Meaning Network
    Paul Wong, Derrick Klassen

    Consciousness Transformation
    ReVision   also from HELDREF publishers

   Sun City:
    SunDancers (square dance)
    Sun City Singers (the chorus)
    Theatre Club
    Village Store, Computer Club, Fitness Center (men's group)

   Austin International Folk Dancers

Humanities Faculty, Salado Meetings

Senior University Georgetown    868-1982

Obituary, Notify:

Drama Therapy
   Dramascope editor
   Dramatherapy listserve
Sun City
    Williamson County
    Austin American Statesmen
    New York Times

       -                        -                       -                          -                       -

New York Times:

Adam Blatner, M.D.– a major pioneer of play, role play, psychodrama–fostered the use of getting more alive and involved. A physician and child and adult psychiatrist, Dr. Blatner also affiliated with the sub-specialty of psychodrama and its associated role-playing techniques, because these offered the richest and most exciting aggregate of techniques and concepts available. Rather than promoting these tools as a separate approach, Dr. B. (as many of his patients called him) sought to have these fertilize and strengthen all the other schools of psychotherapy. Whether one is psychoanalytic, Jungian, Adlerian, a family therapist, or any of several score of other approaches, all can be enhanced by weaving in principles and techniques for promoting creativity, enhancing spontaneity, lubricating with a dose of playfulness, vitalizing with some drama, and fostering an enhanced capacity for self-reflection and consciousness.

Beyond his work as a psychiatrist, Dr. Blatner promoted a simpler language for talking about psychology and interpersonal issues, based on thinking about all this as roles in a kind of play–the "All the world's a stage" approach mentioned by Shakespeare. This "user-friendly language" in turn makes it possible to teach basic principles of psychology so that high school students, elders, and others can benefit from the harvest of insights garnered in the professional arena over the last century.  Always he emphasized practical applications, promoting a more playful and yet serious use of psychology to foster communications, problem solving, and self-awareness.

Raised in Los Angeles and weaned on the early MAD comic books and science fiction literature, Dr. Blatner maintained a balance between the playful and the serious, fantasy and hard science. He was also in a way stuck "in the middle" between liking some parts of psychoanalysis but criticizing other parts; ditto for religion. His spirituality was influenced by what he felt was the liberating insights of Whitehead's "process philosophy" and the associated writings (and friendship with) Charles Hartshorne. Weaving this into his work, he was an exponent of transpersonal psychology, current trends in philosophy, and weaving spirituality and psychology together in a meaningful and practical fashion.

Being a child of the mid-20th Century, and honoring and celebrating these cultural influences, Adam was a romantic. He was a good ballroom dancer, sang a surprising range of popular and folk songs, enjoyed cartooning and drawing, and in other ways celebrated life. He claimed that the joy of finding a soul-mate in his 2nd wife, Allee, was one of the special gifts of the angels, and he cultivated this romance throughout his life.

Adam Blatner fathered two children, David Blatner, a noted expert in desktop publishing near Seattle, and Alisa Blatner Piette, a counselor in San Luis Obispo, California. He enjoyed playing with and singing with his grandkids and other family members.
   -          -            -

Drama in Education

Folk Dancing

Square Dancing

Socrates Café

Senior University

    Human potential network

Medical School Network:
     University O California Alumni
       Barbara Breger, others

Process Philosophy Network


Key others (Christmas List)
   Dear Friends of Adam Blatner

Alternative Obituary Notes.

   Adam Blatner, philosopher, bon vivant, cartoonist, singer, dancer, writer, psychiatrist, physician, promoter of playfulness, "Whizzard of Ah's," romantic, character, teacher, grandpopala, metaphysician, imaginologist, elf, psychodramatist, theoretician, etc.  Died   x    After a remarkably full, rich, eventful, many-faceted life. He succeeded in promoting a number of causes, developing a variety of ideas, including a fair number of original ones, networking up a storm, mentoring a good many folks, healing many others, and bringing out some extra magic in countless numbers by fostering song fests and other activities that celebrate the "child within."

He wrote, "If you want to understand me with your left brain, read the books I wrote, and the papers–quite a variety–on my website. If you want to understand with your right brain, listen to Tschaikowski's Violin Concerto in D; and then Beethoven's Violin Concerto." Adam knew a host of songs which served him in innumerable ways. For each new adventure or significant role transition, he would sing Bob Dylan's 1964 "Mister Tambourine Man"–he found the lyrics and their symbols particularly apt, with new meanings appearing each time. 

One of the most significant elements of his life was his cultivation and deep enjoyment, celebration and foundation in the great romance of his second marriage to Allee. Being of an era that still valued the traditional elements of freely-expressed and somewhat dramatized romanticism, this dimension became an occasion for all manner of tenderness, pet names, funny private jokes, and endless other aesthetic elaborations.

In a similar vein, Adam enjoyed parenting and grandparenting, especially through the medium of songs and modes of play. Also, he applied psychological and therapeutic principles to his everyday life, always seeking to clear communications and encounter loved ones most authentically.

Adam sometimes claimed (to those who would understand this allusion) to be a missionary of the ethos of the Northern California Human Potential Movement, a mixture of cultural, intellectual, psychological, spiritual ideas that flourished especially around the San Francisco Bay Area from the 1950s through the early 21st Century. (In a way, it was the closest thing to whatever his main ethnic roots were–aside from the more superficially associated cultural background of his childhood.) Adam did his college and most of his graduate education and young and middle adulthood there, finally leaving for Texas and places beyond in the early 1980s.

Adam felt blessed by the way his talents and opportunities came together so that his purpose became clear. While feeling aware of the limitations of his own knowledge, still, there seemed to be no one else who brought together a certain blend of cultural influences: Trained in the sciences and medicine in the mid-20th Century, full of the highest ideals of these fields; exposed to the most dynamic expansions and aspirations of the fields of psychotherapy and the human potential movement; privileged to discover some especially promising developments in philosophy; lubricated by a range of literary influences from science fiction and fantasy to cartoonists and humorists; awakened by a discovery of a sense of spirituality in the second half of his life; graced with a flow of original ideas that seemed to integrate these influences further; Adam felt these to be converging archetypal forces that led to his mission: To promote a greater degree of psychological mindedness in a wider sector of the population; to promote tools for applying the harvest of the best insights of psychology and psychotherapy in everyday life; to promote a greater degree of imaginativeness and improvisation (i.e., spontaneity) in individuals and the culture; to promote a greater involvement in the aesthetic dimensions of dancing, singing, creative mythmaking, and other types of celebrating life and community; and to promote a more vibrant spirituality in the awakening world.

Adam was aware that as broad as his many involvements were, most people didn't find either his ideals, ambitions, or ideas particularly interesting or attractive. While he believed that most everyone could benefit from some of the aforementioned causes, few actually cared much about them. It was okay; those who felt some rapport with this sensibility about life might be encouraged, and perhaps he could offer some techniques and concepts that supported these aspirations.

While not achieving (or even particularly yearning for) personal mystical union, Adam applied himself to his own vision of what God wanted and needed in the world: Simply stated, to make the world a nicer, better place, "better" including more differentiation, creativity, harmony, integration, and innumerable other criteria for enhanced value. In other words, he sought to be "God's water boy," akin to a 12 year old boy who is allowed to bring water to the football players on his big brother's high school team, and thrilled to be permitted to wear the big kid's jacket.

There was more than a big streak of child-like-ness in Adam. His home was full of hand puppets, stuffed animals, cute figurines, odd art, his own cartoons, all expressing the myriad "elfin" spirits that celebrated aspects of cute and funny, surprising and outrageous, contemplative and diverting. His range of songs was likewise broad, folk songs, popular songs, kids' songs, funny songs, love songs, spiritual chants, and so forth. If a song lyric poetically expressed an idea, Adam was known to break into singing a few lines to illustrate some point during a lecture.

For Psychiatry: (Applying it to various groups)

   In the sub-field of psychotherapy called psychodrama, that deals with role playing, Dr. Blatner became one of the most widely-read experts, lecturing internationally, and publishing major textbooks on the subject, along with numerous chapters in other books and professional journal articles. In 1999, he was given the J.L. Moreno award for lifetime service to the field by the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama.

    For Extended Family:

Adam Blatner carried on a sense of family feeling, passing along a tradition from his immigrant Jewish parents. His father, Abe, born in Poland around 1889, came to the USA around 1910, served in the army (the cavalry) during World War I (though not overseas), and then was a shopkeeper in New York City. Adam's mother, Ann, was born in the Pale of Settlement of Western Russia, around 1895, and came to the USA around 1900. Dad had an accent, but not mom.

Over the years, Adam kept up contacts with the family, distributing copies of old photos, family trees, and annual cartoon-letters. Although he lived some distance from the centers of family activity–in Northern California (instead of in the Los Angeles area, where he was born and raised, and where a number of relatives continued to live; and in New York City area  -- and then Florida, where many of them moved later on– but Adam in mid-life moved to central Texas to support his mother-in-law and also because he could afford life there. His kids had moved to other towns and so he, like so many others, needed to travel to see family. But they did so, hanging in with family members at times of need, celebrating rites of passage with others.

Although he didn't personally get much into genealogy, he read about the great tradition, and knew his parents were part of one of the greatest migrations and immigrations in history, the immigration of millions of Eastern European Jews to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The background to that story and its further implications makes a singular window on major trends in history in general. What mustit have been like to live in Eastern Europe in the 19th centuries, and then the years of settlement and assimilation. It's a magnificent story that the children born near the end of the 20th century should know about.

He and his dear (2nd) wife, Allee, maintained a correspondence with many family members who seemed to want to keep in touch, and with many others, at least they reached out occasionally.

So, many of you (family members), remember he loved you and hoped that the cousins will keep some genealogical connection.

   Folk Dancing

Adam first learned about folk dancing as one of the physical education classes offered at the University of California, Berkeley, in the mid-1950s. (Phys Ed was a requirement, and he also took classes in a wide range of sports–tennis, diving, ballroom dancing, gymnastics, ice skating, a little taste of this and that.)

Over the years, he found folk dance groups at several places where he lived and would dip in and out. A special boost was given in a class taught by Marilyn Wathen in Santa Rosa. Folk dancing in Louisville and then in Austin was great fun. After doing it for many years, each dance started being welcomed as an old friend. Some songs were especially delicious, the music "dancing him" as he spoke of it. The waltzes and Swedish "Hambos" were like being on a merry-go-round. He was a pretty good dancer and would dance most all the dances!  It was something he felt everyone should learn about and try out–a real sleeper of a recreational activity, relatively inexpensive, high participation, and fun!

Singing   see website


Adam Blatner may be dead, but his website will live on for a number of years, and you can find out more about this fascinating fellow and his ideas, cartoons, writings, on this website!  He has many facets and you can browse comfortably:

    1. He wrote papers about psychodrama, role playing, and sociometry, and you're welcome to browse among these.
      Read his books on psychodrama. Buy them new or used from the publishers.

    2. Papers about psychotherapy and popular aspects of psychology will be relevant to all manner of psychotherapists and ordinary people interested in using principles of mental hygiene.

    3. Papers on philosophy are thought-provoking and open new avenues worth investigating.

     4. Papers integrating the work of many approaches are one of Adam's specialties. He was a visionary. That doesn't mean he presumed to be "right" about what he envisioned, but just that he did imagine what might be the extensions of current trends in philosophy, psychology, and culture.

     5. Adam was an inveterate cartoonist, but more, a kind of artist who combined a measure of playfulness with metaphysical speculation, science fiction, fantasy, and his drawings are curiously evocative. Check ‘em out, use them.

     6. Read his books about related subjects. His Art of Play (co-authored with his wife, Allee) is a seminal work about the potentials for making life more enjoyable. His "Who Else Can I Be?" (Co-edited with Dan Wiener) invites folks to learn about the breadth of creative ways of using interactive and improvisational drama, applied theatre.

    7. Dr. Blatner's autobiography weaves together many themes, and it's perfect as a book in hypertext. Some themes will be of more interest to some of you than other themes.
     Chapters on the history of psychotherapy have a number of associated papers; Similarly, the history of medicine.

     8. Other hobbies and interests, such as the nature of faeries and elves, the lore of alphabets and writing systems, and some political themes, are addressed in a miscellany of papers. Explore and enjoy.


I would be delighted and honored to know that you have been stimulated by my writings or teachings or stories enough to check out some of my favorite things:

1. Popular songs–including that song titled, "My Favorite Things." These lyrics are profound, a kind of poetry therapy. Make a list of ten or twenty of your favorite things: It's a spiritual prayer of gratitude, and your guardian angels will delight and appreciate it. It will also help you sharpen your consciousness and daily awareness. Perhaps add another five things each year.

2. More popular songs I've enjoyed. Check out the poetry and message in some of these lyrics. I'll annotate them, and you can go to links to read the words. (Perhaps as computers get stronger and I become more skilled, I'll even be able to link to the actual music and singing.)

3. Classical Music. There are a few pieces you may not know about–I didn't until different points in my middle and later adulthood. Discovering these jewels was a major life lesson. The world is full of these precious things.
     A. Tchaikowski's Violin Concerto
     B. Beethoven's Violin Concerto
     C.  Other favorites.

4. Art. For me, my favorite artists include:
     Paul Klee; Wassily Kandinski;
    Cartoon Art– Steinberg
           Al Capp,

5. Etc. Philosophers, psychotherapy innovators, spiritual teachers–mentioned throughout the autobiography section...


 the most exciting and practical themes

      -               -                -                     -

E-Bay Auction for my Psychodrama Books
    If help in publicizing, considering giving 10-20% to ASGPP

    Drama Therapy Books
        ditto, for NADT?

Medical History Collection?

Transpersonal Psychology Books
    publicity to IONS for donation 10-20%

Local Public Library Pick Through

Living Will:

Dear Family,
      I've lived a long and happy life!  I've been greatly blessed by all of you, and am truly satisfied, appreciative, and proud of y'all.
       I have so much I want to share, it makes a whole autobiography!

It's hard to give direct advice. You'll take what is interesting or useful to you anyway, and leave the rest, so I don't want to put it as "You should..."    I mean, sure, the general truisms, be nice, love, have faith (and by that I do not mean believing in anything that twists your rationality), take responsibility, enjoy, seek to understand, etc.   But more you'll find as I reflect on what has worked for me, what I've learned and am sharing–some of which may be irrelevant to you, and some you may find is not true for you. But some might be helpful, remind you of another person's reflections on his experience.

Hey, Mister Tambourine-Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey, Mister Tambourine-Man, play a song for me,
In that jingle-jangle morning I'll come following you.

{Comment: God/Death, the dancing Shiva Nataraj, the Lord of the Dance,
   The grand play of consciousness beyond the boundaries of life,
       This is a music-making, creating, muse, inspiring faith.
I open to it, awaken to the higher reality, surrender to you.}

Though I know that evening's empire has returned into sand,
Vanished from my hand, left me blindly here to stand,
But still not sleeping.
My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet,
I have no one to meet, and my ancient empty streets
Too dead for dreaming.

Comment: At times, near death, or facing a major adventure or life transition,
I own how the present can be empty and no longer fruitful;
I own the ache that can be transmuted by surrender into whatever your Grace offers.

Take me on a trip upon your swirling ship,
My senses have been stripped, my hands can't hold the grip,
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels to be wandering.
I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
Into my own parade, Cast your dancing spell my way,
I promise to go wandering.
      (Comment, pretty much the same as before)

Though you might see laughing, spinning,
Swinging madly across the sun,
It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escaping on the run,
And but for the sky, there are no fences facing.
And though you may hear vague traces
Of skipping reels of rhyme to your tambourine in time,
It's just a ragged clown behind, I wouldn't pay him any mind,
It's just a shadow that you're seeing that he's chasing.

   My life has had its dramatic moments, its bright spots,
Its enthusiasms and its stories–it's a piece of music or art,
But I surrender the vain pretense at it having greater or ultimate significance.
More important is your greater unfolding of love and becomingness
In the cosmos, and I have chased with both humility and enthusiasm
My best understanding of the great mystery of your purpose.

And take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time,
Far past the frozen leaves, the haunted, frightened trees,
Out to the windy beach, far past the twisted reach
Of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus fans,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

As for the remaining wisps of my personal ego as it shucks off layers upon layers of memory and illusion, belief and fear, letting go of these as I might old clothes,
I embrace the freedom of the soul in joining your dance,
   Glimpsing at the lovely images and fantasies that accompany this ananda-bliss.}
   -    -    -   

Suzanne    Leonard Cohen

Suzanne takes you down to her place by the river,
You can hear the boats go by, you can spend the night beside her,
And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China,
And you know that she's half-crazy, but that's why you want to be there.
And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her,
Then she gets you on her wavelength and she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover.

And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind,
And you think you'll maybe trust her,
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.

And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water,
And he spent a long time watching from a lonely wooden tower,
And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him,
He said, "All men shall be sailors, then, until the sea shall free them,"
But he himself was broken, long before the sky was open,
Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom
Like a stone.

And you want to travel with Him, and you want to travel blind,
And you think you'll maybe trust him,
For you've touched his perfect body with your mind.

Suzanne takes you down to her place by the river,
You can hear the boats go by, you can spend the night forever,
She is wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters,
And the sun shines down like honey on Our Lady of the Harbor,
There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning,
They are leaning out for love, and they will lean that way forever,
While Suzanne holds the mirror.

And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind,
And you think you'll maybe trust her,
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.

   - - - - -

    4. What to do with my stuff:

Depending on time, might try to sell stuff on Amazon or e-bay,  or through half-price books...

        You can have what you earn... sheer profit.

        Psychodrama books, also advertise full library to the ASGPP and the Interational Association of Group Psychotherapy--psychodrama section.   They're hard to find...many of them.
         Send along with them batches of notebooks and file cabinets on reprints..