PROMPT #6 GLASSES
I didn't need to wear glasses until I was in graduate school. It seemed to happen overnight. One day I could see just fine, the next I was getting headaches from reading. The glasses pictured are the ones I currently own and they are my most favorite pair. Although I have serious glasses envy after seeing the collection drawn today by #the100daystayathomeproject co-creator @blueshineart! The weight of this pair is extraordinary and I love the thickness of the plastic. They feel like wearing a sculpture on my face! It seems sight and our ability to maintain perspective is particularly poignant right now. There is so much to be borrowed from psychoanalytic theory about perspective. I don't have the space to explore these fully here, but please know that I am working on finding a way to bring some of these helpful ideas to light. How would you like to know about them? A podcast? Articles? Newsletter? For now, here are three ideas on perspective that I find particularly helpful, especially lately.
1. The continuum. I've written about this before, but at the heart of psychoanalytic theory is the idea that we all exist on a continuum between the psychotic and the neurotic. Depending upon presenting circumstances, we all fluctuate between these two poles. Both sides have characteristics that take center stage when we as individuals and/or as part of a system move toward either side. The characteristics are highly predictable on both ends and understanding what tends to happen toward both ends is of critical importance as a psychotherapist, but is also super helpful to all of us as we move from one end to the other. There is so much more to say about this. Hence my desire to create a greater space to share some of these helpful ideas with you.
2. Wide focus. This idea has been a core part of psychotherapy since the Freudian days. The first analyst to really use the term wide focus was one of my favorite analytic minds, Marion Milner. Did you know that a ton of important psychoanalytic ideas were put into use by women?! Super cool. Milner was also an artist, so yeah I'm a fan. Here's a quote from her writing, A Mind of One's Own: ""As soon as I began to study my perception, to look at my own experience, I found that there were different ways of perceiving and that the different ways provided me with different facts. There was a narrow focus which meant seeing life as if from blinkers and with the centre of awareness in my head; and there was a wide focus which meant knowing with the whole of my body, a way of looking which quite altered my perception of whatever I saw."" Oh I love this so much. A narrow focus and a wide focus. So much more to say here, but think on that for now.
3. Intersubjective Analytic Third. All hail Tom Ogden. Local psychoanalyst and author Thomas Ogden wrote about a phenomena that occurs between analyst and patient. This intersubjective analytic third speaks to a combination of experiences between analyst and patient that becomes its own kind of reality. It is an attempt to look beyond the two different experiences of each other in the room and acknowledge that simultaneously there is a third relationship built upon the integration of the other's experience. Like a mashup of information from two different perspectives. We meet somewhere in the middle and perhaps the truth lies in this third place. Sooooo much more to cover here. It's super dense, but I have always loved this idea and my work with patients was always very informed by this thought of a third plane of meeting.
What did you learn today? Join me by using the #thesethreethings and commenting below with your own These Three Things. I want to hear what you are learning, laughing about, and living through.