Cunningham, Linda

Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 15, Number 1, 2006

Keywords: resistance, transference, countertransference, relational field, transitional space, Sandplay therapy, stuckness, frustration, “feeling against,” “feeling with,” intrapsychic, field phonemenon, archetypal relational fields, Field of Original Oneness/Merger, Field of Twoness/ Rupture, clinical examples, intersubjective.

Abstract: “Resistance” is a term arising with increasing frequency in the sandplay literature. This indicates that sandplay therapists are delving into those experiences in many therapies where, in contrast to true transitional space, there is a stuckness, a frustration, a “feeling against” rather than a “feeling with.” However, the term “resistance” itself is an outdated term, indicating an intrapsychic rather than an intersubjective stance. It may be more clinically useful to think of “resistance” as a field phenomenon occurring in one of the two more difficult relational fields: Field One, The Field of Original Oneness/Merger and Field Two, The Field of Twoness/ Rupture. Two case examples are provided, as well as an Appendix briefly describing the four archetypal relational fields.