Intimacy requires equal risk-taking and authenticity, where the client and therapist find their way through what is occurring in the here and now. We must develop new ways and methods to engage dynamically with spirituality and truth. Where the “Self” is accepted, able to flow beyond the mind, intellectual thought and the bodily effects endured within the individual.
The self is a field of energy, a cantering phenomenon of a superconscious nature, unchanging in its own essence.
The “I” is seen as the outpost of the self, the point of conscious awareness, receiving impulses from the self, assimilating moment to moment. The journey of the self is a process whereby a middle consciousness widens to the higher and lower depths and areas of the unconscious, where we can engage with all true experiences, open to the wholeness of our existence. A “Potential Space” overlaps the inner and outer realities, a third area, the world of dreams and the environment working within a shared reality. The constellation of an interactive field, where one`s separate identity has to diminish to allow openness to the imagination, feelings and intuition rather than linear concrete thought processes. Therapists must bring awareness to the process that is occurring and identity themself as also having an experience whilst staying in contact with the phenomenology within the field.
- Lower consciousness 4. Field of consciousness
- Middle consciousness 5. The conscious Self “I.”
- Higher consciousness 6. The Higher Self 7. Collective unconscious
The self is both the source of the phenomena (the transcendent aspect of the self) and the core of it, at the heart of the experience (the imminent aspect of the self). The greater contact with our inner and outer relationships, the more profound the experience of the self. Sub-personalities become emissaries of the self, differentiated facets of the self, carrying particular qualities, purposes and functions. This transpersonal space may manifest as archetypal polarities seeking interaction, expressed in intrapsychic thought or interpersonal relationships.
The Edge of Awareness
The edge figures, the patriarchal police figures of the psyche, patrol the edge of awareness, keeping the unconscious out, as it’s unacceptable to one`s image of oneself. They operate like the military, armed and dangerous, using intimidation tactics and threats to keep the unconscious material at bay. The city hall represents the edge between me and not me, the space the therapist can most effectively work with the client.
The edge needs to be built up through teaching and facilitating firmer boundaries, s stronger sense of “Me” identity, with a greater capacity to differentiate oneself from others. The rigid edge figures lead to black-and-white thinking, where personal conflict plays out due to our subjectivity and need to be right. The immature psyche can only work in this split consciousness, a world of good and bad, experienced as intrusive thoughts or symptoms, generalised anxiety and personality disorders. With weak edge figures, being unable to contain the self leads to an incohesive self and a lack of strength to maintain firm boundaries. Too much or too little unconscious invasion leads to a fragmented self, unable to accept and experience their true reality. The edge material from the unconscious is usually split off and repressed /suppressed, denied or projected onto others.
Working in depth is achieved through the presence ad focus of the therapist, the willingness t challenge themself in the relationship, to touch the edges and be dynamically engaged. This is not a linear process, working on a multi-layered basis; the longer the client stays, the greater the inquiry and change. The outer wall of the garden (psyche) is where we spend a lot of the initial interactions, accessing and beginning the process with the client. The client gradually explained the survival strategy they have implemented in childhood and how they maintain their imaginary sense of self and illusionary liberty. How they make contact, establish relationships, generate an imagined intimacy, and bridge their way to communication.
The client will eventually allow us access beyond the city wall as we delve into deeper territory, creating heightened tensions, and bringing in attachment conditions and strategies. This defensive territory is where we hide, our wounded landscape, where others won’t like us, love us. We guard and protect this ground, even though it may contain our deepest longings and most painful experiences, betrayals and loss of innocence. The fragmented self may be unable to contain and cope with perceived intrusions, feeling invaded and offended, and will tend to overreact. The working relationship will be tested and tested, as magical thinking and paranoia may materialise, as the client will refuse to participate in their true reality and truth.
Through careful, empathic enquiry, the therapist may be able to neutralise these chaotic parts, manage the overwhelming unconscious intrusion, and protect the client from the perceived external threat. Grandiosity and omnipotent fantasies will gradually diminish as the client integrates the split-off aspects of the self into a coherent whole. A stable client, integrated and assimilated, may be able to enter the transpersonal world and engage in a mutual reality full of feelings and intuition.