“Observe with interest” is one of the nuggets of wisdom I say repeatedly thanks to my guest joining us today, Dr. Keith Witt. He teaches us that we can observe stories through an outside perspective, and when we do it with interest there are gifts just waiting for us.
Dr. Keith Witt on the psychological mechanisms that animate evolution. All living processes exist in a rhythm of opposing forces which create conflict, resolving into either cooperation or domination. This dynamic of tension is the subtext of most human activity.
We humans take the drives and turn them into art, and arguably the oldest art forms we have are the mythic stories beginning with the ancestral tribes. I believe the human pair bond is the fundamental driver of much mythology.
We feel observed all the time. We feel observed by our conscious selves and our inner critics. We feel observed by others–by our real and imagined tribes, by the people we pass on the street—because we are tribal beings, evolved to need each other.
The Warrior, the Healer, and the Man of Wisdom are universal archetypes that inform our personal evolution in countless ways. They are intertwined in our adaptive unconscious–our Shadow selves.
In sessions, therapists use the power of the lower left quadrant intersubjective relationship to help clients make transitions from defensive states into states of healthy response, where the client has some form of compassionate witness activated, thus making numerous healing moves possible.
Let’s focus mostly on therapists’ growth as human beings. I believe that such an emphasis is a new paradigm for developing mastery in psychotherapy.
You may be embodying your wisest self as you read this. Your wisest self is a fundamental part of you that wants to choose goodness, love, courage, and commitment to people and goals. Our wisest self is our best interior guide to the universe of relationships.
We live in a relational universe. Our lives revolve around relationships with others, nature, the world, the past/present/future, and our countless interior selves, memories, and habits.
If you want enduring bliss, you need to know how to repair injuries back to love! This of course begs the question, “What are the secrets of successful relational repair?”