Language in couple therapy.

I am highly conscious of the language in couple therapy I do at the moment. I used to use the Imago language in couple therapy for many years. I was resistant to the rather ugly “sender and receiver” words.  Though not as accurate for what was actually happening I preferred talker and listener in the last few years.  However after listening to audios by Hedy Schleifer I’ve shifted to the “crossing the bridge” language of “visitor and host”.  As one client told me, that is a bit fruity, whatever that means.  

The thing is that is not just a change in language, but a whole different mode of being. Sending is a metaphor for posting something into space and it is then received like an email. This is not a metaphor that is very connecting. It also leaves the receiver wanting to respond… it invites reply.  Responding is close to reactivity, and replies are close to argument and debate.  

Host and visitor are quite different.  Each person is having a turn at the same time, one as visitor, on a trip to another land, as a learner, a witness as an explorer a learner.  The other as a host, a presenter, a storyteller.  with this metaphor for the work there is not the same need to coach appreciations… I just say, be a good host and be a good visitor, and immediately they say such things as “Thanks for inviting me into your world, I appreciate you taking the initiative, I know it might not be easy for you.”

In the visit I use the exact mirroring , summary, validation and empathy structures.

In every culture there is some protocol and ritual for crossing the bridge into another persons territory or space.  The protocols for visiting a neighbour apply.  The leave taking can be quite lovely.  I’ve heard people say.”Thank you for having me.”  or more fully, such things as: “Thank you for inviting me, I appreciate you showing me how things work in your land. I will be much more aware how not to stomp on those areas that are so sore.  I enjoyed meeting your little child and seeing how burdened your mother was while she had three under four.”

The language and the change facilitates dramatic enactment.  Show me your world is an action cue for sculptures and role reversals with the social and cultural atom.  

With maori clients and some other kiwis as well I have used some of the concepts from a meeting on a marae. The visitors are: manuhiri and the hosts the, the people of the land, the tangata whenua.

The depth of meaning of the pōwhiri or welcome could well be used to make the crossing into each others worlds more meaningful. For example the concept of Pōwhiri – the Māori welcome carries with it all the richness of the english word dialogue and more: “… po can be translated as a venture into ‘the unknown’ or a new experience, while whiri is derived from whiriwhiri meaning the act or experience of exchanging information and knowledge.

Pōwhiri – the Māori welcome

 

 

Small Graces: Mapping a Route of Beauty to the Heart of the World

 

Small Graces Mapping a Route of Beauty to the Heart of the World
by Jason Sugg
Submitted in partial fulfilment 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.

Well researched.

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 partners in a relationship. It’s not well grasped: they are vital to knowing each other. We can’t know others at this level of consciousness without participating in the relationship with full role reversal. Continue reading “Small Graces: Mapping a Route of Beauty to the Heart of the World”

The Origins and History of Consciousness: Erich Neumann

Further to my exploration of participation mystique in the last two posts I’m led – as some may expect – to:

Amazon

The amazon page has excellent reviews, the description of the book is at the end of this post.

Below are a couple of quotes that give me the sense that he thinks the participation mystique is of a primitive or childlike state of unity that is lost.

This is interesting as it might relate to attachment theory and Moreno’s notion of the matrix of all identity. The idea that it is a primitive state (presumingly leading to individuation) might skip the importance of adult attachment as Susan Johnson talks about it.

Is adult attachment really a stage of not being quite grown up. Schnarch might say that?

Here is a quote by an anonymous reviewer on Amazon:

An interesting side effect of this view of consciousness is the resultant synthesis of linear and cyclical notions of Time. To Neumann, Time is an open-ended linear progression (development) which is recursively cyclical. The recursion occurring in the subject self’s perception of time: That the individual’s subjective perception of time in an early part of his development, corresponds with the Human’s perception of Time in a corresponding earlier point in history.

For example, using Neumann’s framework, one can see the ‘mythological’ persona and teachings of Jesus (and his semi-contemporary Buddha) as the collective expression of the coming ‘personal’ transcendence and autonomy of the Ego (as in: “The Kingdom is in You!”).

Perhaps we are moving forward (and backwards) to the relational paradigm?

Quotes I found from the book follow:

This integration was not necessarily anything mysti-
cal, as the rather nebulous term participation mystique might
lead one to suppose. All it means is that, in the original group,
the solidarity of the group members is to be conceived more on
the analogy of an organ in relation to the body, or of a part in
relation to the whole, than of a part in relation to the sum, and
that the whole exercised a paramount effect, so that the ego
could only free itself very slowly from the tyranny of the group.
This late birth of the ego, consciousness, and the individual is
an incontestable fact.

~~~

PSYCHOLOGICAL STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONALITY – 295

Originally it was impossible for the ego
to distinguish the source of these images, for at the stage of
participation mystique an outside could not be perceived as distinct from an inside; the two sets of images overlapped, so
that experience of the world coincided with inner experience.

This original phase, when consciousness was a sense organ,
is marked by the functions of sensation and intuition, i.e., the
perceptive functions 84 which are the first to appear both in the
development of primitives and in that of the child.

Description.

The Origins and History of Consciousness (Bollingen Series,42): Erich Neumann,R. F. C. Hull,C. G. Jung: 9780691017617: Amazon.com: Books: “Book Description
Publication Date: 1970
The first of Erich Neumann’s works to be translated into English, this eloquent book draws on a full range of world mythology to show that individual consciousness undergoes the same archetypal stages of development as has human consciousness as a whole. Neumann, one of Jung’s most creative students and a renowned practitioner of analytical psychology in his own right, shows how the stages begin and end with the symbol of the Uroboros, or tail-eating serpent. The intermediate stages are projected in the universal myths of the World Creation, Great Mother, Separation of the World Parents, Birth of the Hero, Slaying of the Dragon, Rescue of the Captive, and Transformation and Deification of the Hero. Throughout the sequence the Hero is the evolving ego consciousness.”

Klaus Krippendorff

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_Krippendorff Wikipedia

Screen Shot 2012 10 07 at 2 11 28 PM

Amazon On Communicating: Otherness, Meaning, and Information [Paperback] Klaus Krippendorff (Author), Fernando Bermejo (Editor)

I’ve got the Kindle sample – looks interesting — the material available on Google books – pdf on the kindle – still can’t find the bit where he talks about the I-thou implications on research.

I did see that somewhere?

Yes, but the pages I saw are not available on the MacBook Pro – the iPad seemed to show them.

I might well buy the book. [ Later – Thursday, 11 October, 2012 – bought the Kindle version.]

A clip from the Google book on the Mac is followed by two I got on the iPad.

Dialogue

Photo

Photo

Coevolution, invention, creation of the psyche – the relational paradigm

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.

From this blog.

The “adjacent possible” refers to the change that’s available to you — i.e. adjacent, next door – versus the change that’s not.

Screen Shot 2012 10 07 at 1 24 29 PM

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.”[1] 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 post exaptation, 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
  • Coevolution
  • Exaptation

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.

Debs Martin Comment On Mokihinui River | Stuff.co.nz

 

Screen Shot 2012 08 22 at 5 31 08 PM

 

Good piece in todays Press – quoted in full below. Here is a link to some snaps we took last year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waltzzz/sets/72157628604924595/with/6589720617/

Debs Martin Comment On Mokihinui River | Stuff.co.nz:

 

Add Mokihinui River to national park

Plans to dam the West Coast’s Mokihinui River have been withdrawn but Forest & Bird’s Debs Martin argues that permanent protection is needed for the river and catchment.

Continue reading “Debs Martin Comment On Mokihinui River | Stuff.co.nz”

Shakespeare Sonnets – Evolution – Kim Hill – Brian Boyd (and relationship)

Loved this discussion:

Click to play & download Bryan Boyd Interviewed by Kim Hill

Here is the book:

Ref=sib dp pt

Kindle

I will read the book. But as I listened I was burning to join in on the discussion. I have since my days studying under Prof. Robert Bigelow in the late 60s at Canterbury had an understanding of “gene pools”. The concept makes sense of how some things might benefit the survival of a species even when individuals do not have more babies.

Brian Boyd touched on this lightly in the interview, I’ll be interested to see if he does this more fully in the book.

The point is this: if lyrical poetry (or anything else) is useful to the group then only a few need to have a gene for it, and even if they individually don’t have more babies, the group as a whole might survive and a neighbouring group who does not have that gene in their pool might not.

I’ve been thinking about this in relationship to the purpose of monogamy. It seems that it has a special place in healing wounds from childhood. But this typically does not happen till after the crucial childbearing years, in the second reflective half of life. I think of the powerful impact even one or two healing couples can have in a group. They can foster relationship education as well. They might influence psychological health, and more robust grandchildren.

PS

Bigelow’s book here: Amazon – The Dawn Warriors

Psyberspace

What is this blog about? It might be all over the place but this picture shows how my filter works.

At the heart is a patch where there is a psychological, or soulful aesthetic, cyberspace phenomena that makes the world a better place.

Evolution of the Good

More on evolution and the basis for altruism.  I heard this show ages ago, I can recall listening to it while scrambling up a steep loose rockface!  (Miles reminded me about it on Facebook) The kinship theory makes total sense to me, but it does not mean the group theory is wrong does it?  Why the either/or here?

The Good Show – Radiolab:

In this episode, a question that haunted Charles Darwin: if natural selection boils down to survival of the fittest, how do you explain why one creature might stick its neck out for another? The standard view of evolution is that living things are shaped by cold-hearted competition. And there is no doubt that today’s plants and animals carry the genetic legacy of ancestors who fought fiercely to survive and reproduce. But in this hour, we wonder whether there might also be a logic behind sharing, niceness, kindness … or even, self-sacrifice. Is altruism an aberration, or just an elaborate guise for sneaky self-interest? Do we really live in a selfish, dog-eat-dog world? Or has evolution carved out a hidden code that rewards genuine cooperation?

Copy of the audio:
The Good Show

Studio-d/flikr