This paper will explore a Conversational Model inspired conversation with Heidegger, begun initially during a therapy conducted from the CM perspective and developed as a Master’s thesis as a capstone for training within the Program. The dialogue encouraged by the CM perspective between therapist and patient is mirrored by the interchange it can foster across fields of inquiry, a dialogue that is only fruitful however if the engagement is truly authentic. This interplay of philosophy and psychotherapy has the potential to strengthen the ontological foundations of the Conversational Model, whilst allowing Heidegger’s ideas on human existence to contribute directly to the reduction in human suffering.
In therapeutic conversation there is a co-construction of text by therapist and patient. The language of this therapeutic conversation is crucial: it is both the mode and evidence of intervention. This paper explores the language of the poetic in this context, which is associated with the non-linear, analogical, right-hemispheric form of language outlined in the Conversational Model (cf. Meares et al, 2012:27). This style of conversation is associated with a change in the form of consciousness and cohesion of self (Meares, 2012; Meares et al, 2012).
While verbal art has been regarded as the quintessential expression of what a community shares in a “collective consciousness”, equally it has been studied as the harbinger of experiential innovation. Language affords the chief source of interpersonal solidarity AND a semantic laboratory for what is incipient or even weird (outside the ken of ‘normal folk’). This polarisation of functions can in some cases be explained by changes of artistic taste – mediaeval poetry in Europe was appreciated in terms of its ensemble of standard cultural motifs – e.g. roses, blood, courtesy… Other eras, like our own (in English, at least), have given value to novelty and invention, as well as to highly marked linguistic constructions.