A double is an auxiliary who helps a protagonist express feelings by

speaking as if they were that person. The protagonist can then own these

feelings or correct the double. For people who cannot feel, or express

their feelings, or who have not had a sufficiently empathic advocate or

witness in their life, the double is especially helpful. Zerka Moreno

(1978, 165) lists the task of the double:

1) to accurately represent invisible dimensions of the protagonist, copying

their body language, facial expressions, vocal tone. This includes

vocalising inarticulate parts of the self: the double is an intrapsychic role.

2) to express how the protagonist feels about themselves

3) to interpret the protagonist to him/herself.

4) to act as a catalyst to bring the various parts of the protagonist to

greater integration.

5) to help the protagonist to rejoin the social world after having reached a

deeper level of self revelation and affirmation.

The ‘containing double’, an adaptation of the method developed by

Hudgins (et al. 2000; see also Kellermann & Hudgins, 2000, 250-1) is

helpful in reducing dissociation and can prevent a protagonist being


© Dr. John Casson