The embodied experience of The Knowing Field : focus on individual psychotherapy
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Takacsy, Eniko Csilla
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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This IPA research was designed to take an exploratory journey into the mysterious territory of a phenomenologically observable occurence in the Family Constellations approach, the knowing field; and to bring home invaluable results, presented in mundane terms, for individual psychotherapy. Previous empirical research has shown that information from the knowing field can be obtained through the representative perception, an experience involving the presence of attunement and resonance. However, the existence of this field has still not received much attention in scientific circles. The most popular theory associated with it has been Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic field, which, despite its meticulous and repeatedly tested explanations, is considered pseudoscientific. The need for further research on the embodied knowing field is timely, as its unique manifestation in constellation work should not be considered the product of magical thinking. To achieve the aims of this study, three accredited, integrative psychotherapists were interviewed, who have been using this method as an integral part of their clinical practice. The rationale for IPA analysis was built upon the phenomenological characteristic of this qualitative research method that blends with the nature of the subject matter. As a result of the analysis, three key themes stood out from the rest: 1) focus on embodied experience including somatic representation of family history, resonance, attunement, representative perception and countertransference; 2) the therapist’s stance how to remain open to experience and their role as participants; and, finally, 3) the personal and the collective, embedding the transpersonal and constructivist-systemic aspects of constellation work, and their use in one-to-one setting. According to the therapists’ understanding of their own and their clients’ embodied experience, physical sensations, feelings and movements signify the attunement and resonance with the surrounding energetic field. Resonance is stronger with deeper attunement, and requires an all-encompassing pre-reflective state where representatives connect with their somatic responses and allow the resonating part of themselves to unravel its essence. Hence, insights into the hidden dynamics of transgenerational entanglements can be gained, and what becomes conscious can be further worked on in the therapeutic space. The findings of this study also show that the advantages of constellation work in individual psychotherapy outweigh the disadvantages, which predicts a promising future for the further adaptation of this approach to one-to-one context. Author keywords: The knowing field, family constellation, systemic constellation, representative perception, representation experience, embodied resonance, morphic field, morphogenetic field