Symbolic Modeling Training

Symbolic Modeling Training
by Marly Milena, Octagon:Creative Exploration

Theory background for SymMod

Symbolic Modeling (or SymMod) is based on lateral and metaphorical thinking.  It engages intuition and body signals, and encourages experimentation.
I also use models from humanistic psychology, especially Gestalt and Jungian Process Work.

From Wikipedia:

Lateral thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic. The term was (coined) in 1967 by Edward de Bono.”  –

According to de Bono, lateral thinking deliberately distances itself from the standard perception of creativity as either “vertical” logic (the classic method for problem solving: working out the solution step-by-step from the given data) or “horizontal” imagination (having many ideas but being unconcerned with the detailed implementation of them).

Tools I use here in Second Life or virtual environments can include building blocks, drawings, poems, stories, songs, movement, photographs- just about any arts process


Inside out:  choosing a shape,  describing yourself as it,  making associations
Outside in:  recognizing a feeling state, idea, question, etc. that you want to explore and
choosing materials to represent it.

Embodying the object: Gestalt framework…becoming dissociated or separate parts,
and integrating their messages or producing insight or new perspectives.
Practice describing yourself as it.

Role playing and dialogue: Setting up two or more aspects of an issue, idea, challenge, feeling stateetc and having objects speak to each other with you as objective witness

©PeopleSystemsPotential,Niela Miller 2017