Language creates humanity rather than it being the other way around
It has a life of its own. Within the life of both individual and community symbolic and feeling exchanges occur: a process of ‘call and response’. The personal nature of feeling and imagery, involvement in conversations in words and images constitute what is most significant in human lives. It is part of a chain of continuity with past and future generations.
Language is a resource held in common. The inner world of self involves a living engagement with language. Messages are received, and representations expressed in reciprocal interaction. After death language enables personal experience to live on, most obviously in the form of the written word and recorded visual or auditory images. Even in their absence, the language and “messages received” by others live on. While individuals can be seen as having a lifelong text, there is a larger communal text. Language transcends death through this “long conversation”.
Language can feel like an assault. Most therapists will have the experience sometimes of dealing with a ‘battleground’ of intense emotion. The symbolic transformation of these raw experiences is challenging. An individual therapeutic conversation over itswhole trajectory constitutes an opportunity for metabolism of trauma.