Summary of Norms and Guidelines
1. Everyone is mirrored. This slows sharing down but develops a sense of each speaker feeling safe and being fully heard.
2. Anyone can volunteer to mirror. If no one else wishes to mirror the speaker, the facilitator(s) will do it. We suggest that if a person wants to “respond” to what has been said, they not be the one to mirror the speaker to whom they wish to “respond.”
3. Have an attitude of pre-validation.* In other words, assume that all persons “make sense” and are valid before they speak. Listeners seek to understand the “sense” that speakers are making and are trying to express.
4. The group holds the “space of validity” for all members and encourages the sharing of different points of view.
5. Avoid MasterTalk* – in other words avoid sentences that imply that only one point of view is correct. If Master Talk statements are made, “Boundary insertions” may be used to return the tone to one of sharing.
· “This is a fact” is politely mirrored, “So you believe…”
· “This is what happened” becomes “So you remember…
· “You are wrong” becomes “So you think differently. You think…”
· “I think I speak for everyone here” is met with a polite request to just state what is true for him or her.
6. Value silence skillfully. Powerful points are often followed by silence. Silence doesn’t have to be filled right away. Listen for the emerging wisdom of the group.
7. Silence, on the other hand, can be a signal that talk is going underground. If this is perceived, a facilitator may invite and encourage sharing.
8. Facilitators and group members encourage all points of view and honor real differences.
9. Work to shift the tone from “conflict” to “sharing”. Saying you want to make an “addition” can be a powerful alternative to debating and win/lose thinking.
10. Encourage a sense of seeing a larger picture by valuing each person’s contribution to the group consciousness.
11. Learn to enjoy hearing and sharing even ideas you don’t particularly like. Learn to hold the tension of differences and grow the communologue space.
12. Senders should make relatively short sends; paying attention to the needs of other’s to share the time available.
13. It is believed helpful for senders to stay with one subject per send.
Mapping a Route of Beauty to the Heart of the World
by Jason Sugg
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Pacifica Graduate Institute
14 February 2012
Has a whole section on Participation Mystique and I-Thou.
Below is an enticing quote. The reason I’m attracted to this work is that I think that the very relationships we are discussing here, participatory, with the ego dropped, with heightened awareness of self and other, are also the relationships that are needed between therapist and client, and not as well grasped: they are vital to knowing. We can’t know others at this level of consciousness without participating in it ourselves. Continue reading
The Heidegger-Buber Controversy: The Status of the I-Thou (Contributions in Philosophy) [Hardcover]
Haim Gordon (Author)
This book is $96 in kindle!
Perhaps in line with my hypothesis that Moreno has a solution to the problem posed by I-Thou for knowing and research.
I’ve got the kindle sample.
From the blurb:
The I-Thou controversy between these two thinkers is a significant but often overlooked issue in philosophy and theology. In one of the first books to truly address the subject, Haim Gordon explores the arguments of both Martin Heidegger and Martin Buber regarding the The I-Thou relationship and its significance for human existence. Gordon’s work illuminates Heidegger’s complex and enlightening ontology–one that describes the everyday life of the human in such a way that there is no place for the I-Thou relationship. Buber, on the other hand, argues for the significance of the I-Thou relationship within human existence, and highlights the ways in which Heidegger’s philosophy fails to grasp this important point. After examining the fundamental ontology of Heidegger, set beside the ontological insights of Buber concerning this relationship, Gordon concludes that each of these important twentieth-century philosophers was guilty of ignoring the contributions made by the other to the study of ontology and being.
By exploring the complicated dynamic between Heidegger and Buber, Gordon presents the reader with valuable insights and a deeper understanding of human existence and relationships. The implications of both this controversy and its resolution are far reaching for many other philosophical disciplines, including social and political philosophy, metaphysics, and ethics.
There is a flow in the evolution process.
Grass had to exist before grazing animals could evolve, they in turn had to precede carnivores.
These examples perhaps are best expressed in the principle of the “next adjacent possible”.
A brief digression: I recently ran across a novel way to think about this question. In evolutionary theory, there’s a concept called the “adjacent possible,” coined by scientist Stuart Kauffman.
The “adjacent possible” refers to the change that’s available to you — i.e. adjacent, next door – versus the change that’s not.
From Stuart A. Kauffman — Reinventing The Sacred Amazon
The process is holistically connected to the mutual adaptations in each species. Grasses develop ways to survive grazing. Herbivores evolve capacity to run, and carnivores develop sharper teeth and claws.
This idea is sometimes captured with the phrase co-evolution (Wikipedia):
In biology, coevolution is “the change of a biological object triggered by the change of a related object.” Coevolution can occur at many biological levels: it can be as microscopic as correlated mutations between amino acids in a protein, or as macroscopic as covarying traits between different species in an environment. Each party in a coevolutionary relationship exerts selective pressures on the other, thereby affecting each other’s evolution.
Earlier postexaptation, a related concept.
I’m imagining this whole process as envisage the world of the psyche. The changing nature of how we relate to our being. Everything from collective rituals, art, monks meditating in a cave, group therapy, psychoanalysis, conjoint family week and couple therapy.
The investigations above, summed up as:
- Adjacent possible
Imagine how these apply to the coevolution/invention/creation of the psyche.
(Why I say evolution/invention/creation is evident from this post about psyche this post about the nature of the psyche, about how it is not a thing, yet not nothing either, is relevant.)
Freud was before Jung. The idea of an unconscious and a method of working with it that was possible in the world was available to Freud as a medical clinician.
Moreno was in part a reaction to Freud. Group therapy and conjoint therapy was possible.
Moreno and Buber had found or invented an idea about the nature of the person being in the relationship.
Hendrix is pioneering the ice that being is relationship.
The relational paradigm is the now a niche that has opened, a shift in the culture and new ways of attending the the psyche are possible.
Moreno’s idea that this could well transform science is also on the cards as an I-Thou relationship with things is also possible according to Buber.
I updated an earlier post today with just a few extra words about doubling. They are important to me though.
The question of psych-education and the relationship with the therapist continues to be something I reflect on. After the Dan Wile workshop I went on I saw see how much could be achieved with virtually no psych-ed, no dialogue, all doubling.
I also updated this post. Also with more on doubling.
I’ll post up more on this.
William Doherty brings a wonderful insight into Couple Therapy. The video shows the nature of the problem he addresses. The article in the Psychotherapy Networker brings forward his way of attending to that problem.
With the thorough and useful Imago dialogue approach there are a few things I find myself bringing from other modalities to the work. Warm up – from psychodrama is one. I work for a while with the couple in the warm up phase so that the dialogue topic is related to what the couple together agree is of value to work on in the relationship. This is a bit different from what can happen where the topic is the frustration one partner has with the other – dialogues about that may get there the long way around, a good warm up, which may include some psych ed, from me can be circumvent the potentially derailing process.
But that is not the main idea of this post.
William Doherty’s idea of the Discernment Phase of therapy creates a much larger space for a warm up with clients who may not be in agreement on what is needed. He gives me as the therapist permission – in a relational way – to see each party on their own if that is needed in a phase that is not yet couple therapy. I love the word discernment here. It is so much more engaging of the client therapist relationship than assessment.
This paragraph sums up the essence.
A central strategy of this work is that although the couple comes in together each time, most of the work goes on in separate conversations with each spouse. In the first 40 minutes of the initial session, I see them together and get both their stories and perspectives on the marriage. After asking what they hope to get from seeing me, I inquire about their divorce narratives (how they got to this point), their repair narratives (how they tried to solve their problems and what outside help they sought), and a question about the best of times in their relationship history. I then spend more than an hour seeing each of them separately. During that time, I focus on each one’s agenda (leaving or saving the marriage, along with other agendas) and try to open up a deeper understanding of each one’s contributions to the marital dynamics and areas of potential change. At the end of each individual conversation, I help the partner prepare a summary to be shared with the other partner at the end of the session.
Here is a pdf of the Psychotherapy Networker article.
Thanks Yvonne for pointing this article out to me.
Just as I completed the last post I saw this post in GroupTalk:
Edward Schreiber firstname.lastname@example.org via grouptalkweb.org
21:01 (4 hours ago)
Here’s how I see it. Moreno started it with this:
“A truly therapeutic procedure cannot have less an objective than the whole of mankind. But no adequate therapy can be prescribed as long as mankind is not a unity in some fashion and as long as its organization remains unknown. It helped us to think, although we had no definite proof, that mankind is a social and organic unit.”
That opening from Who Shall Survive by Moreno is exactly the philosophy that underlies Jim Rough’s Wisdom councils, though he may not know it. This another example of how some other philosophy amplifies how I see more no’s work more clearly.
As if the modalities in the last post were not enough!
Another form of practice that I keep my eye on is Dynamic Facilitation. This is another mode that is not radically different from Moreno, but takes one aspect forward. How to operationalise small group process to work with whole communities using the principle of isomorphism of systems.
I stumbled on this site today, I recall Rosa Zubizarreta as the author of an excellent manual on Dynamic Facilitation — her site looks good, and maybe I’ll do one of her workshops one day. Or one with Jim Rough.
In an earlier post I tried to capture a thought I had about dialogues. I was pleased to know someone read it and emailed me to say they were a bit confused. No wonder, I just pour out something I think about late at night — when I should be fast asleep!
I will describe more clearly how I work with couples by unpacking what I think are important ideas in a snippet from the earlier post.
I like to distinguish the words of the initiator of the dialogue, the protagonist, from the response by the person who is listening, the receiver, who I encourage to think of themselves as an auxiliary.
The problem is that I’m using language from two psychotherapeutic modalities. I imagine this makes no sense to anyone really, as there are very few psychodramatists who are also Imago Relationship Therapists. Even to someone who has that background it is still a muddled sentence.
Let me start again. First I’ll use Imago terms and then I’ll describe the same work using psychodrama language.
When learning to dialogue people often ask how to respond to their partner after they have listened to their first “send”. What do I say, can I say anything?
Response is central to relating. Is everything a response to the previous thing? Perhaps, but I like to distinguish the words of the initiator of the dialogue, the protagonist, from the response by the person who is listening, the receiver, who I encourage to think of themselves as an auxiliary. In responding as an auxiliary, we are not asking for anything. Of course the sender (or protagonist) might listen and mirror the response, but as a responder it is useful to keep the mind-set of an auxiliary, then the response is a form of mirroring in that the protagonist can see how they impact on the other person.
A response will reveal to the protagonist who how they are received. A response may also reveal something about the listener. Self disclosure as it is known in counselling jargon. As long as the auxiliary stance is maintained it can be useful, as long as its not all ‘Me, me, me.’ Good self disclosure on the part of the listener means the protagonist will know they are speaking with a person. A response that is well done will have the protagonist nodding, relaxing, learning about themselves and ready to open up more about themselves. They will not feel alone and trust will build. A full response will enliven the dance, create a rich space between the two, filled with meaning.
To encourage this when they ask: What do I say, can I say anything? I offer something like this:
What was most exciting to you in what you just heard.
What touched you most deeply.
One thing I have learned about you.
What I found valuable in what I heard.