The Phenomenology and Practice of Edge Sensing in Psychotherapy: Embracing Embodiment and Process

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Romanycia, Serenne
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This thesis explores three main questions: how does the phenomenon of change happen in psychotherapy, what propels human becoming, and what is our role as therapists in helping that forward process? Findings suggest that change is an embodied process, and that there is a generative zone of emergence between our embodied awareness and reflective mind that can be harnessed therapeutically by edge sensing between the two intertwined streams of consciousness. I also posit that there is a parallel fault line occurring in both Cartesian dualism and traumatic experience: both install a dissociation between embodied awareness and reflective thought. The globalized, Western, modern worldview has led to the identification with, and valuation of, our intellectual selves, while our somatic selves have become rejected and devalued. Somatic therapy is posited to be one way of healing this divide. Finally, this research, drawing on support from my clinical practice during practicum, reveals that a strong therapeutic relationship that fosters emotional attunement and resonation helps increase positive change, deeper connection with self and others, and more satisfying ways of being-in-the-world. I show that edge sensing, both intrapsychically and interpsychically, is helpful in creating a strong therapeutic relationship. I also suggest that edge sensing is a powerful therapeutic tool in working with and healing attachment ruptures that a client has either previously experienced, or ruptures that emerge within the therapeutic relationship itself.
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