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Fields in Psychology

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Since the time of Freud, with his notions of Transference and Counter Transference, psychotherapists have know about the deep link that can occur between patient and therapist. At times it is almost as if the therapist has access to some of the content of a patient's unconscious mind, or as if both simultaneously experienced the same intense somatic or feeling state.

The deepest of these links go far beyond what can be explained in terms of fantasies and projections. While Jungians may prefer the notion that patient and therapist become entrained within an archetype, others may feel that this is more of an explanation in words alone. Some feel more comfortable with a causal mechanism, some sort of manifest connection, and so a variety of explanations have been proposed - such as body language, unconscious linguistic clues or even mental telepathy. More recently several therapists have begun to speculate about a "field" that links patient and therapist. And associations have even been made to the speculative ideas advanced by Sheldrake, Laszlo, non-local quantum effects, or connections through Bohm's Implicate Order.

I feel uneasy with this sort of approach. In part it is because I am wary of its possible association to that sort of reductionism that seeks an explanation, from within the domain of the physically causal, for something that is in essence deeply experiential. In general I am concerned about our prevailing tendency to move too rapidly from the direct experience itself an so loose touch with that creative sense of suspension when the mind is open to unexplored possibilities.

On the other hand, some of the anecdotal information give to me by therapists is quite remarkable. At times it seems that the therapist enters an almost tangible "field", a region of space within an interval of time, that has a feel and a taste to it. In such cases the term "field" does not appear to be far fetched.

So I'm keeping my ideas open at the moment. I'm talking to therapists and keeping in mind the deep connections other have felt for the natural world, connections that seem almost alive. Take, for example, Cezanne's notion that nature thought itself though him. That in some way Cezanne could immerse himself in the landscape so that his painting expressed the consciousness of the land around him.

Maybe what I'm really interested in is Metapsychology: - Psychologists are interested in what goes on in the minds of their patients. I'm interested in what goes on in the minds of therapists.

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