The therapeutic connection happens, says Schore, through a "relational unconscious" in which "one unconscious mind communicates with another unconscious mind." It's a paradox, really—the therapist must consciously create the conditions under which his or her unconscious mind takes over and communicates with the unconscious mind of the client. In a way, it sounds almost impossible, or at least mysterious. The fact that the neuroscientists are discovering how and where in the brain these connections happen doesn't make them any less mysterious—outside of our control and awareness, uncanny even.
From our very first mother–infant bond, we experience relationships in this same, still mysterious, primarily physical way as did our primitive hominid ancestors. Like them, we look into each other's eyes, we smile and gesture, touch and stroke each other, make soft, friendly sounds, breathe in each other. Through these ancient signs and signals, we come, as they did, to know each other and by knowing each other we come to know ourselves.
Mary Sykes Wylie, Ph.D., is the senior editor of the Psychotherapy Networker.
Lynn Turner, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., is director of A Center for Relationships. She's written several articles and the chapter "Psychoeducational Approach" in The Encyclopedia of Social Work with Groups. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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