Professional group study & Consultationkeeping ourselves alive & Engaged in depth work
May 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.
“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.”
THOUGHTS ON ACTIVE WITNESSING
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.”