Feeling is present in the stream of experience from the womb to the tomb. The earliest forms of organisation are based around the infant’s overall reaction to sensations, relational life, and the experience of moving and doing. Feeling is experienced as a “whole body” / “whole person” phenomenon, in contrast to localised sensations. This is because it operates cross-modally on the basis of apperception. In a sense the raw stimuli of sensation and movement are translated into the “language” of feeling.
From the first cry, affective expression plays a crucial communicative role in maximizing and maintaining relationships of significance. It can be thought of as a “first language”, reflecting a primary level of integration that eventually becomes coordinated with verbal language. Processes of social engagement and nuanced feeling are also easily disrupted by trauma and the induction of vehement emotions such as disgust, rage, contempt, shame, hatred and guilt. For each person vehement emotions will challenge the capacity for containment, the ‘window of tolerance’.
This talk will offer a perspective on feeling relevant to psychotherapeutic engagement, where the endeavour is towards providing a zone for the growth of complex personal feeling.
STDIP is a trauma-informed, active, time-limited and structured therapy, based on the developmental and relational principles of the Conversational Model and uses the techniques of the model to provide a collaborative framework for patient and therapist to work together on the patient’s presenting difficulties. It is not an abbreviated long - term model, neither is it a substitute for long term therapy. It requires therapists to sharpen their skills, to be actively present, to put aside therapeutic neutrality, and assist the patient achieve limited goals. STDIP does not cure all ills, but initial research coming out of our work since 2011 shows that it effects personality change and brings about change in a large number of patients. The presenter has used this model of work with children, adolescents, and adults. This presentation will provide an overview of the model and leave ample time for discussion.