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Empathic Ground, The

Intersubjectivity and Nonduality in the Psychotherapeutic Process

Judith Blackstone

Publication Year: 2007

The Empathic Ground explores the experience of nondual consciousness as the basis of human connection, and describes its importance for psychological healing. It looks at the therapeutic relationship from the perspectives of psychoanalytic intersubjectivity theory and Asian nondual philosophy, finding practical meeting points between them that illuminate crucial issues in psychotherapy, such as transference and counter-transference, the nature of subjectivity, and the role of the body. The book also includes a series of exercises developed by the author for realizing nondual consciousness in the clinical setting. Access to this subtle, unified dimension of consciousness develops both our individual human capacities—perception, understanding, love, and physical pleasure—and our relationships with other people. It thus has profound significance for both psychological healing and development, and for the relationship of psychotherapist and client.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology

The Empathic Ground

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pp. v


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pp. vii

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pp. 1-16

THIS BOOK EXPLORES how the psychotherapeutic process can be enhanced through accessing a subtle dimension of nondual—or unitive— consciousness described in some schools of Asian nondual philosophy. It also examines how the psychotherapeutic process can facilitate nondual realization. Many different types of nondual realization are described in the Asian spiritual literature...

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1. Nondual Realization and Intersubjectivity Theory

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pp. 17-30

PSYCHOANALYTIC intersubjectivity theory and Asian nondual philosophy have in common two radical claims about human existence. One is the ultimately subjective nature of all experience, with its corollary that there is no objective reality that we can know with certainty.The other is the denial of an independently existing individual self. One of the main differences between intersubjectivity theory and Asian nondual philosophy...

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2. The Potential of the Relational Field

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pp. 31-46

IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER, I described nondual consciousness as an uncreated dimension of human experience that is revealed as rigid subjective organizations are relinquished. In my view, the inclusion of nondual realization within the psychotherapeutic process does not negate, but rather builds on, the new relational turn occurring within psychoanalysis and other schools of psychotherapy...

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3. The Embedded Self:A Case for Interiority

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pp. 47-62

INTERSUBJECTIVITY THEORY describes the self as “the experience of psychological distinctness, a structuralization of self-awareness that is wholly embedded in formative and sustaining intersubjective contexts” (Stolorow & Atwood, 1992, p. 10). Since intersubjectivity theory maintains that all experience is subjectively organized within intersubjective contexts, there can be no ontologically existing separate self...

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4. Disentangling from the Object:Transference, the Body, and the Nondual Field

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pp. 63-80

THIS CHAPTER looks at the theme of transference from the perspectives of Asian nondual philosophy, intersubjectivity theory, and realization process. All these disciplines consider habitual, rigid organizations of perception and behavior to be problematic to human development and happiness. Realization process contributes an understanding of these subjective organizations as anchored in the tissues of the body...

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5. Realization Process:Exercises for Nondual Realization and Psychological Healing

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pp. 81-122

THIS CHAPTER PRESENTS ten realization process exercises. Each exercise is preceded by a short explanation and followed by a discussion of its therapeutic applications, with clinical descriptions illustrating its use. In clinical practice, the exercises are combined with verbal process, focusing on the usual psychotherapeutic themes of childhood history, current issues, and the client–therapist relationship...

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pp. 123-124

IN THIS BOOK I have attempted to resolve what in my view is an artificial schism between spiritual and psychological maturity. I described how intersubjectivity theory seeks to reconcile the illusory divisions between therapist and client, cognition and affect, and mind and body. I showed how the realization of nondual consciousness can contribute to healing the fragmentations in all these relationships...


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pp. 125-130


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pp. 131-133

E-ISBN-13: 9780791479582
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791471838

Page Count: 142
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: SUNY series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology