Friday, July 30, 2010

The Four Archetypal Relational Fields: Field Two

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Field Two: The Field of Twoness/ Rupture

When we find ourselves in Field Two: The Field of Twoness/Rupture, also a field of relational trauma and presymbolic experiencing, our subjective experience is that of intense affective turmoil and discontinuity. In this field we feel “held captive” in relational conflict. We find ourselves embroiled in a struggle with disturbing unconscious contents, intense affect, and mutually activated complexes. It is a field of discomfort, conflict, and difficulty, and often entails a visceral, extremely disturbing experience. A therapist may feel taken over by feelings of anxiety, terror, shame, dread, or physical illness. “Rupture” refers to the ambient anxiety in this field that empathic rupture is imminent. We fear that no matter how hard we try, we will somehow fail to provide holding in a way that avoids this rupture. Yet the sheer dynamic aliveness of this field lends itself to profound transformation. Therapeutic work in this field often requires that the therapist look to her own complexes’ involvement in the field in order to move from, a “feeling against” to a “feeling with.” (The terms “feeling with” and “feeling against” were coined by Kay Bradway (1991; 1997), but she used them in a different context.) The goal is to find within ourselves our own resistance, and to surrender into deep empathy for the primitive, traumatized places we may share with the client.

In the diagram below, the Field Two area is the second ring from the center of the Self In Relationship circle. This represents the emotional 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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