Psychotherapy is a co-created enquiry seeking to bridge dissociative gaps. This enquiry is inevitably both bodied and intersubjective. The art and science of using the therapist’s self as a guiding instrument, like a kind of ‘compass’, may help us orient within a client’s process or inform therapeutic interventions. A therapist’s self presents phenomenologically in the therapeutic process with affective and kinesthetic hyper- and hypo-states as well as visceral or affective imagery phenomena. Communication between therapists and clients occur in multiple ways but also include bodied ‘primary intersubjectivity’ such as mirror neuron informed proprioception, inter-affective or limbic melodies phenomena. As such, a therapist’s psychophysiology has the potential to develop a finely tuned instrument, an instrument that may listen to the subtle voices of a client’s unconscious, hear its silent music, search into its darkness for meaning, and guide our therapeutic interventions. At the other end of this spectrum, these psychobiological systems equally facilitate enactments or minor and major ruptures in the therapeutic relationship when both hyper- and hypo-states may ‘disable’ our therapist instrument and take us into fragmented, dissociative or polarized states. How can we recognise these dynamics? And how can we work constructively with their thresholds, or within any metabolized vulnerabilities of the therapist that become activated in such moments?
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