The Stuck exercise is a method in the Social Presencing Theater approach. It invites a person to embody a challenging, problematic situation currently in their life, where they feel stuck - nothing traumatic but with a “Stuck” quality. This is enacted firstly in a body sculpture representing the stuck-situation. In a second step the person initiates from the sculpture and allows a movement to emerge guided by the body (not the mind!) into a second posture that feels less “stuck”.
The exercise allows individuals to learn more about a current problematic situation in their life where they feel stuck. Using body intelligence rather than thinking about the situation allows new perspectives or even glimpses of a path into a saner, less stuck future to appear. All of this without a need to talk about the situation itself!
In a course for teachers, we used the exercise to work on challenging classroom situations. We invited them to think of a situation that regularly occurs in their classroom and which makes them feel stuck. The advantage was that they did not need to talk about the situation in front of the other teachers but could get insights on a somatic level. Additionally, we let them show their body sculptures, 1 and 2 in smaller groups – the witnesses then could share what they noticed and/or how it made them feel; strictly no interpretations are wanted. At the end we invited them to share in the small groups what surprised them, aspects of what they had learnt about the situations if they wished.
Starting from the consideration that almost all stuck situations involve other people, directly or indirectly, you can form a “systemic stuck”. The person embodying the stuck can ask others in the group to enter into the sculpture 1 with them and represent a certain force in the situation by taking a certain position in relation with and to the protagonist. There is no discussion about who this is or the situation – just an embodiment of the position the protagonist asks of them. This can include up to three or four others. Once all are in their positions, there is a group sculpture (1) of the situation – the whole system then of the 4-5 people begins to move into an emerging sculpture (2), a healthier, less stuck version of the situation.
People sometimes have difficulties to let go of their cognitive concepts about a situation, and ‘represent’ the concept rather than tapping into body intelligence.
Emotion contains “motion”!
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