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Breaks in Therapy:

Breaks in Therapy:

We have just been on Semester break in our training program. Comings and goings in any relationship can be difficult. Can we hold each other in mind and heart? Or are there deep disconnections that emerged when we parted ways for a while? When those breaks occur in the context of a therapeutic relationship in a psychodynamic frame that aims to attend to what happens “between us” and what is “dis-associated”, as way of deeply feeling and understanding the past and the present, they are crucial to our work. Sometime a break brings signs that a connection has been broken; sometimes it shows we have a way of coping that holds some difficult feelings hidden or “out of sight”; sometimes it brings evidence of a growing continuity of relationship and self.  We will examine the different kinds of “breaks” in therapy via vignettes, using the guides of a Conversational Model approach, with its ongoing integration of relationship, states of bodymind, development and language, as well as useful phenomenology from the Strange Situation Procedure and other guiding frameworks – the Fear Cascade, the Hierarchy of Consciousness, the Hierarchy of Engagement – to think about the challenges of separation, loss and reunion. Some of these phenomena are felt in parallel process in supervision and commune-ity. For although I and Thou are very important, sometimes one or more others hold us two in mind. And while the current challenges of COVID remind our forgetful selves that sickness, loss and death are not so far away, most of us are here to read this, while separated but connected across space and time, and are surviving. Alone-togetherness and our capacity to speak, sing, dream, dance and story continue to suggest a way to be companions on this long journey. Join the dots across the darkness; join the dark matter in the starry, night sky; we are here to talk about having been apart and to see if we can feel a part of something bigger than ourselves: a relationship, a community.