Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Four Archetypal Relational Fields: Field One

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Field One: The Field of Original Oneness/Merger

In Field One the therapist’s subjective experience is often a sensory, presymbolic one. Symbolic meaning is difficult or impossible to find, and boredom, confusion, or emptiness are often the predominant countertransference states in this field. This sensory rather than emotional or thinking experience may include a focus of sensation in one’s head; dizziness; confusion; a sense of deadness; a watery feeling; a feeling of dissolving into space; a sense of being disconnected; being unable to think; a distortion of objects or people in space; or feelings of being controlled, empty, or paralyzed. The therapist will often feel held at bay, ineffective, and completely useless. It is the hallmark of the field of Original Oneness/Merger to feel boredom, anxiety, or dissociation. Therapeutic work in this field requires that the therapist tolerate, contain and digest presymbolized experience. This takes time, patience and a full use of the therapist’s reverie, including countertransference images and body sensations. This field takes us into our bodies—or out of our bodies— but always involves sensory experience. In the diagram below, the Field One area is in the center of the Self In Relationship circle. This represents the somatic core of the Self. The therapeutic goal is to gradually move into embodied, emotionally connected self-reflection, and to establish fluid oscillation between all four fields.

Image by Eric Cheng
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