TBPS presents thought leaders and clinicians in the field of psychotherapy on one Saturday each month
Saturday, December 10, 2016
A Phenomenology of Distance and its Role in Intersubjective Change:
In much psychoanalytic literature, concepts (such as projective identification) are used to bridge an assumed separateness of self and other in understanding the nature of intersubjective experience. Phenomenological thinking begins by assuming a particular kind of connectedness between self and other that shifts our thinking about the nature of change. At the heart of intersubjectivity there is a connected-distance that Merleau-Ponty characterizes as “ distance” or “gap," écart in French. The other must be near enough to be seen and felt as familiar, far enough to be encountered in their difference from me. In this formulation, it is possible to tilt too far in either direction. Without sufficient distance, otherness disappears. Difference blends into uniformity and we find only what is already familiar to us, see only what we expect. With too much distance, however, the world retreats into misrecognition or mystery. If others are too distant, they are lost to us, we are confronted by something alien where difference can become indifference or alienation. In this talk I elaborate this phenomenological concept of intersubjectivity with a clinical description of a too-distant young man and describe my perspective on change in an intersubjective context.
February 18, 2017
March 18, 2017
April 15, 2017