Reflections on the field of psychotherapy
& my Archive of pre-2004 papers
These articles were written in the late 90’s & early 00’s as my thinking was developing. Terms like ‘ego’ which I use in some of The New Anatomy papers I no longer find useful. Rather than ego, I think in terms of differing self states.
States may derive from historical interactions but they are re-created in relationships. The old structural models of an individual psyche, including object relations models of internalisation, are being superceded by an emphasis on relational systems. I am working on updating my conceptual framework and the vocabulary that goes with it.
The traditional organising frames of psychotherapy - psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and humanistic approaches such as somatic psychology - are being broken down. Social, cultural and above all scientific change is bringing about major re-organisation in affiliation, theoretical modelling and the practice of therapy. We are shifting towards more integrative, plural and de-centred structures for evolving and updating theory. Rather than schools built around one thinker, we now tend to teach multiple models which are critiqued and engaged with by a broad community of academics and therapists.
The milieu in which Freud, Jung, and Reich developed was vibrant with a sense of the possibilities of science. Then psychotherapy went through a prolonged period of disillusionment in its relationship with sciences. When Bowlby through his interest in ethology, found a new foothold for thinking about development he was initially cold shouldered. But since then we have seen the emergence of a new generation of clinician –scientist and clinician-researchers - figures such as Beebe, Lachman, Bucci, Stern, Lanius, Schore, Solms, Fonagy, Tronick, Siegel who have been able to build on the work of Bowlby, Winnicott, and others. In addition, some exceptional researchers– Damasio, Trevarthen, Panksepp, Porges - have been engaged in extended and substantial dialogue with psychotherapists.
The work of these and other thinkers is easily available now and represents an exciting emerging synthesis that can nourish our understanding of human development and relational systems. As a result most of my writings from over five years ago which incorporate neuroscience are substantially out of date. Therefore I caution you that they are historical documents, not state of the art.
I recommend this recent book as introducing both key thinkers and the conceptual cutting edge of interdisciplinary dialogue between science and psychotherapy on the matter of body, emotion and relationship:
Fosha, D, Siegel, D & Solomon, M (2009) The Healing Power of Emotion: Affective Neuroscience, Development and Clinical Practice New York: Norton
Adjacent to and overlapping this exploration, is the work of those exploring the radical edge of psychoanalysis. http://www.iarpp.net
This is the clinical area which I find most relevant and stimulating as the field of psychotherapy is evolving.
of Papers by Roz Carroll on this site:
the Border Between Chaos and Order: the relationship between neuroscience
and psychotherapy - talk given at UKCP Conference on Neuroscience
Thinking at its best An
introduction to some neuroscientist.
American John Bowlby:’ Interview with Allan Schore
in a Scientific Climate: the human face and neuroscience
Seeking and Play in Psychotherapy: Intrinsic Potentials and the
work of Jaak Panksepp
the Body Ego More than Skin Deep?
Motoric Ego: parallel functions of the muscular system and the concept
Psychosomatisation is Complex: going beyond Cause-Effect
Trauma Therapy: Afterthoughts
and the Somatic Metaphor
and Group Process
the Individual and Collective Psyche
All papers written by Roz Carroll before 2004