The Space

24 September 2010

What is happening in the space between two people?

This is one of the psychological topics which fascinates me the most.  It is of interest to the field of psychology because as you can imagine, and likely have experienced, that space is where interactions occur and therein lies the material for all of our life experiences, where we find love, pain, happiness, sadness, where we project our fears and realize our dreams.  The “space” between me and another, or for that matter me and my dreams, is where life really happens.  And as such, this space has been marveled at long before the invention of psychology and many poets, composers, and visual artists can evoke a sense of it better than any psychology construct will ever decipher.

Yet, it still bears understanding in psychological terms.  One psychologist, D.W. Winnicott, called it Potential Space, so named because the first experience of that space is between mother and child and within it the child’s ‘potential’ can be realized.  Another, a Jungian Analyst named Nathan Schwartz-Salant, calls it the Interactive Field.

Schwartz-Salant said that between two people there can be a “union” that is “characterized by the creation of something new that is often only glimpsed” by the participants and experienced as a “fleeting” moment where one can feel that space and time have been “suspended” for the moment because a “sense of expansiveness had appeared.”  Wow!  What a place this potential space, or interactive field, is, where I can I find it? continue reading »

Re-Invent, with Music

7 October 2009
Regensburg: Walhalla: Ludwig van Beethoven
Image by bill barber (very sporadic) via Flickr

Where does that inner wellspring of creativity live and how can one touch it? In continuing on with our interview of Dr. Allen Bishop, I’d like to discuss his views of how music can become a way for getting in touch with one’s internal essence, or beauty.

Dr. Bishop stated about the way children develop through music and art offerings in school, “mainly it’s a vehicle for developing your interiority, and not your external, social, compliant self.”

He explained his views on how music can be therapeutic personally by giving the example of Beethoven’s transformation. “I’ve used music as a therapeutic modality for myself at different points in my life. I use Beethoven as a model of an individual who has triumphed over adversity and some limitations. Also an individual who shows us that, as Bion says, is always possible to bring beauty to difficult circumstances. Beethoven brought the energy of his deafness in 1802 in the midst of suicide and depression, to reinvent himself. As a composer and musician, his greatest music emerged out of that struggle. I think he points to a kind of a psychology based on a certain kind of acceptance, or what he would call, resignation. He had to resign himself to this loss. Once he could do that, then all the energy was freed and came back in this beautiful way. I think that’s what human beings have to do.”
continue reading »