COUNTERTRANSFERENCE IN SANDPLAY: THE HEART AND THE MIND OF A LOVING, ATTUNED OTHER
Linda Cunningham, San Francisco, California
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 20 Number 1, 2011
KEY WORDS: relatedness, countertransference, feeling with, feeling against, neuroscience, attachment theory, early relational trauma, right brain, disowned, Sandplay therapy, analytic, theoretical, preverbal core, unthought known, co-transference, anxiety, STA, 2010, Boulder, Colorado.
ABSTRACT: Relatedness involves bearing a continual coming back to ourselves, reowning our disowned parts. This internal work is difficult, and often evokes a feeling against, particularly when we work with early relational trauma. Theory and research support inclusive attunement to our feeling against; it is valuable psychic territory in the relational field. Exploring new discoveries in neuroscience and attachment theory and integrating them with analytic thinking can expand our capacities in the free and protected space. Such concepts as co-transference and countertransference; feeling with and feeling against; right brain-to-right brain communication; the preverbal core of the self and the unthought known; the wounded healer and the rainmaker story provide new images and metaphors to help us better work with the anxieties of our time. Material from this paper was presented at Sandplay Therapy: Spanning the Great Divide, STA 2010 National Conference, Boulder, Colorado.