We Are All Relational, But Are Some More Relational Than Others? (2013)

We Are All Relational, But Are Some More Relational Than Others? (2013) 2017-04-07T02:54:38+00:00

Project Description

Discussant Paper in response to Ray Little: "The New Emerges out of the Old - An Integrated Relational Perspective on Psychological Development, Psychopathology and Therapeutic Action”. Building on Ray Little's integration of humanistic TA with both traditional and relational psychoanalysis, this paper explores both shared ideas and assumptions as well as reflecting critically from the vantage point of a wider broad-spectrum integrative perspective, with an emphasis on TA's sister tradition of Body Psychotherapy. The problems, inconsistencies and contradictions within the integrative project are discussed, with particular reference to our humanistic origins during the 1960's and their “partially reactive - differentiation against psychoanalysis, which leaves us with unresolved legacies in the form of fixed assumptions regarding both theory and practice, and key concepts like 'ego' and 'working alliance'. Taking the key notion of the therapist's 'equidistant position' between the 'needed' and the 'repeated' relationship as its starting point, this paper works towards 'enactment' as the central notion of relationality. In the process, a multiplicity of diverse therapeutic kinds of relatedness is affirmed as valid, and different notions of the 'relational' and inconsistencies and ambivalences in our integrative formulations are addressed. The aim is a more solid and robust integration which is grounded in a bodymind understanding of enactment as the paradoxical essence of therapeutic action.

 

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