Stuck Exercise

Stuck is the main technique of Social Presencing Theater. The other forms (such as 4D Mapping) are variations on this practice.

It is a process by which one experiences going through the whole U journey by moving from Sculpture 1 (current reality) to Sculpture 2 (emerging future). We do not know what the movements will be or where they will stop, but we can follow the movement and then reflect on our experience. Surprising insights can arise.


The invitation here is to notice the inclination of individual people and groups of people to move toward a saner, freer, healthier, more creative situation; to sense more deeply into the current reality, rather than trying to “fix” the situation from the same mind-set or frame of reference that created the stuck situation. Instead, we feel deeply into the situation, suspending our problem-solving habit. By paying attention to our “body-knowing” and to the social field, we discover new directions or fresh insights that were not accessible just by thinking.


  • Let the body be the guide. Do not plan, act, mime, pretend, manipulate or represent. Simply BE and DO.
  • Lean into the “stuck” situation. The wisdom is there already. Notice what is emerging – what in Theory U language is sometimes called the “crack”.
  • Trust the moment-to-moment experience.

Uses & Outcomes

  • Become more sensitive to and honest about the feeling-quality of their current situation
  • Suspend concepts; build trust in body knowing.
  • Feeling oneself as part of a co-creative system.
  • Feel what is emerging, connect with the future that wants to come into being. 


Stuck Exercise Instructions

Also available in: Dutch  |  Italiano

To do the Stuck exercise, you first need to identify a place in your life where you feel stuck. That means something you are trying to create is not moving forward. The videos in this section explain how to use SPT to move from that current reality to a more sustainable emerging future. The Stuck exercise can generate insights that are applicable to your real situation. 

In this video, Arawana explains how the stuck exercise is a journey through the U process. She also gives instructions for how to move from Sculpture 1 to 2. After you watch, continue to the next video to see how the practice is done and to try it yourself.

Nobody is stuck on their own. When you are stuck, there is a system of forces that keep you from moving forward. This video shows how the Stuck method can be used to explore possible ways for a person's system of stuck forces to evolve from current to future reality. Watch the video and afterwards, if you are practicing with a group, try doing the exercise together. 

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