The setting as a womb
Working in a psychoanalytic way allows the patient to regress to a dependency condition and in order to facilitate that, I think, that it is important to establish a contained setting. I give more importance to the frame than to the transference and for me the room represents for the patient the womb.
It is not just how we arrange the space, but also how we set up a beginning and an ending and we give a continuity to this. I consider a session as a sensation process and keeping in mind the link of these different experiences gives to the patients the possibility to perceive and to think and feel.
At the beginning of life,with the physical birth of the child, the mother keeps a continuity with the embrional existence till the psychological birth of the child and the realisation of his/her separation from the mother. This development process creates a sense of containment
The formation of the self with a border between the inside and the outside represented by the skin is the first step to recreate the function of the womb in the intrauterine life and the function of the mother in the extrauterine one.
The acquisition of the language, walking and breathing is the ultimate step in the accomplishemt of the development process and to open up to an individual existence.
The therapy goes in the opposite direction of the development process and for this reason it is important to recreate all the condition to allow the process of regression.
When the child draws a circle at two year of age this is the first representation of himself, an inside separate from an outside world, where he can picture on it the mouth, and after the eyes, the noise and the ears.
In the same way our setting represents this round shape figure where we welcome the patient and we facilitate the regression from an independent to a dependent condition free from conflicts as the dyad mother-child at the beginning of life.
In this space and time of the sessions we have the privilege to observe the dynamics of the patient and of our self and making sense in what it was till than moment not understandable.
An important role has in this process the presence of a third person, that in the case of the therapy is the supervisor or the analyst, and in the case of the child mother dyad is the presence of the father, who support the mother and pull the child out of the dependency from the mother.