The Embodiment of Relational Stances, Spaces & Modalities with Michael Soth
March 30 - March 31
A three weekend course with Michael Soth
The notion of ‘relational modalities’ originated in the early 1990’s with Petruska Clarkson, and was one of the most coherent manifestations of the paradigm shift towards two-person psychology. However, whilst it usefully shifts the ‘talking cure’ towards the ‘relating cure’ (thus organising the therapeutic profession around the principle that “it is the relationship that matters”), what is lacking in this formulation of relationality is the bodymind connection.
That particular lack of embodiment then tends towards lending all the diverse kinds of therapeutic relating – and the search for meaning through them – a decidedly mental-reflective bias across the talking therapies. Without embodied presence, we can reflect on relational dynamics until we are blue in the face, it’s unlikely to engender sustained bodymind process and development, let alone holistic transformation. Embodied trauma and character defences are unlikely to yield towards recovery or wholeness through the dominance of insight. Circular, disconnected thinking, intellectualising, rationalising and plain dissociation are then given too much weight in the therapeutic process, depriving it of spontaneity, authenticity and emergent process, as well as the felt sense of depth and coherence.
Relational modalities complementing learning on character: embodied and relational
These 3 weekends are going to be alternating with Nick Totton’s parallel course on ‘Character’, complementing the learning there and following it through into the vicissitudes (as they call them in psychoanalysis) of the therapeutic relationship. When we extend that notion of ‘character’ to ourselves as therapists when at work in the therapeutic position, we recognise it as our ‘habitual position’ – those habitual ways of being and relating, thinking, feeling and behaving as therapists which limit our flexibility between the various relational modalities. Both courses together will capture and circumscribe some of the fundamental principles of embodied-relational psychotherapy.
Please see the flyer for more detail.