Friday, July 23, 2010

The Four Archetypal Relational Fields

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Image by Eric Cheng

This diagram of Self in Relationship shows the Four Archetypal Relational Fields, from Field One in the center, moving outwards through Field Two, Field Three and Field Four. These fields represent the somatic, emotional, symbolic, and spiritual realms of human relational experience.

All of these relational fields are normal aspects of human experience, and may be experienced fleetingly or at any time in life. Experience in these fields follows a developmental path. In health, one experiences an easy oscillation between all fields.

In psychotherapy, the fields become “constellated” between therapist and client. The first two fields arise from early relational trauma, and may present as "stuckness" in the clinical relationship. These early fields normalize and provide a framework for working with confusing or disturbing countertransference experience.

The Four Archetypal Relational Fields are:

Field One: The Field of Original Oneness and Merger

Field Two: The Field of Twoness and Rupture

Field Three: The Field of Differentiated Oneness/ Transitional Space

Field Four: The Numinous Field of The Transcendent Function

I will describe each of these fields in depth in the next three posts.

Important note: Please do not use this field theory for pathologizing clients. We speak of the nature of the field that is co-created between therapist and client, i.e., "a feeling of field one," "a field one experience," and not "a field one client."

Also, these fields move in an out, or may be layered, and are rarely found in pure form. However, with early relational trauma, the therapist may encounter a more pervasive experience of the field.

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