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keeping ourselves alive & Engaged in depth work

September 2021 Theme:

Active Witnessing – A Vitalizing Holding Function


    • INTIMACY & SEPARATENESS – PREFACE – pages ix – xiv.
    • INTRODUCTION – pages xx- xxiv. 
    • CHAPTER ONE – ‘Regarding the Other’ – pages 1-8.
      CHAPTER 3 – ‘Witnessing & Otherness’ pages 15-29.
    • SELF EXAMINATION CHAPTER 7 – ‘The Disappeared Self’ – pages 97-109.
    • SOMATIC EXPERIENCE – CHAPTER 7 – ‘The Silent Call’ – pages 88 – 97.

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    “For a patient’s testimony to come to life, a comprehending witness is needed.


    A catalyst to a patient’s capacity to know and to define him or herself as a unique one among others, witnessing makes personal testimony possible and meaningful.”
    Warren Poland


    When we, as the therapist, insist on our own presence being able to exist alongside another’s, we show how ‘staying through the midst of all that happens’ is an essential skill, as well as a tool for transforming a person’s narrative. 

    As the therapist, we cannot afford to take this skill for granted. We must appreciate that many people have been deprived of this level of accompaniment, and as a result, they are likely to resist it to the exact degree that they desire and long for it.

    A Chickpea leaps almost over the rim

    Of the pot

    Where it is being boiled.

    Why are you doing this to me?”

    The cook knocks it down with the ladle.

    “Don’t you try to jump out.

    You think I’m torturing you;

    I’m giving you flavor,

    So you can mix with spices and rice

    And be the lovely vitality

    Of a human being.


    Remember when you drank

    Rain in the garden?

    That was for this.”

    Grace first.  Sexual pleasure,

    Then a boiling new life begins,

    And the Friend has something

    Good to eat.

     ~ ~ ~


    The chickpea will say to the cook,

    “Boil me some more.

    Hit me with the skimming spoon.

    I can’t do this by myself…

    You’re my cook, my driver,

    My way into existence.

    I love your cooking.”