Four Mediterranean voices advocating for the necessity to listen to our inner selves and to each other attentively, in the face of conflict and other challenging situations
Chair(s): Maria Pirounaki Lioni (Laboratory for the Study of Human Relations, Greece)
Discussant(s): Athanasia Kati (Systemic psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor in private practice Hellenic Systemic Thinking and Family Therapy Association (HE.S.T.A.F.T.A), Athens, Greece)
The multicultural Mediterranean nature seems to have a long tradition in blending effectively and creatively diversity in its funnel. Then comes systemic perspective to blend it all and add structure, hierarchy, dynamics, all in specifically well-defined boundaries. So, in the midst of adversity ‘here comes the sun’ uniting the apparent opposites, making a synthesis out of an incongruent reality be it at the social, familial, individual levels, in any science. In the present era resonances and interferences are not only necessary but also highly valuable for our wellbeing. In our field, that of enhancing the quality of life via psychotherapy, we invite you to share with us the different theoretical and applied models of our work, blended with the synthetic nature of the Italian, Greek and Spanish cultures: addressing the inner child, the multifaceted individual, the multicultural couple, within an everchanging world.
Presentations of the Symposium
The inner child in systemic group therapy
Maria Pirounaki Lioni
Laboratory for the Study of Human Relations, Athens, Greece
During therapy, alternatively to usual ‘graduation’, an elaboration at the deepest levels of the client’s psyche can be processed within the context of systemic therapy group, in combination with individual sessions. It concerns the elaboration of existence and presence, still unrefined, sometimes even mentally, of the inner child inside the client which he approaches and processes, not at the level of connections through awareness or emotional charge. The client is submerged to re-experiencing from scratch emotions of the child back then, which had to be suppressed. Currently they emerge and overwhelm, even conquer the client. This theoretical suggestion is defined, identifying points of proximity and affinity with a series of theories. The therapist’s attitude is depicted as well as techniques and tools such as pieces of art and symbolic objects, enhancing the rewriting of a new functional childhood through ‘family transference’ experiences in the therapeutic group.
Rediscovering Virginia Satir : what I have learnt from her about resonances
Maria Laura Vittori1, Rita Accettura2
1Centro Studi di Terapia Familiare e Relazionale, Guglielmo Marconi University, Rome, Italy, 2Centro Studi di Terapia Familiare e Relazionale, Rome, Italy
Unfortunately, Virginia Satir never spoke a word about resonances. Fortunately, she provided us with precious elements to increase our understanding about them. In her book “Your many faces” she illustrated her theory about the Self : she conceived a rich ‘theatre of the interiority’ where our multiple faces act like characters. If we went further, assuming that every face owned a voice, we would hear every character inside us resonating to challenging events differently. An inner dialogue would unfold, like open dialogists would say. Virginia named her own faces after famous persons, to characterize them better. We will do the same, giving voice to our different faces (the compassionate, the overburdened…) and listening carefully to each of them, which is revealing its part of truth.
Examining human conflict: from the micro system of the couple to nations at war
Hestia International Psychotherapy Centre, Barcelona, Spain
Systemic theory has largely focused on the way individuals connect, communicate, establish bonds, and form systems. Systemic relational practice has had to primarily address and treat dysfunctional relationships marked by conflict, explicit or implicit. The current presentation aims to introduce a synthesis of ideas that seeks to enhance our understanding of the main dynamics at play within different relational contexts at times of conflict. Variables such as autonomy and connection, individual integrity and system integration, agency and submission are postulated as key factors in relation to conflict dynamics, reflected in dilemmas such as: How can individuals create systems without compromising their identity and personal integrity? How can individual integrity be preserved without damaging the bonds that bind systems together? Key ideas will be explored in relation to the above, within simple and complex relational contexts, using case studies and examples from current international affairs.