Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Path more or less Imagined

The path ought to be an enduring symbol, but for the most part it is not recognised as such. Philosopher, Gaston Bachelard was a great man for the idea of the path and there can be few counselling skills trainees who have not suffered constant reminders of "the path less trodden". No-one likes a cliche, no matter how true so maybe that's why the path lacks the ineffable nature of a symbol. Yet we all beat out some kind of path in life and it is a moot point whether a person makes his or her own - perhaps it's the other way around. Too many seem to carry the recognisable mark of their path with them. It isn't as if it can be changed and therefore can only be brought into awareness and integrated. One exercise in psychotherapy is to encourage the client to recapitulate their path, to consciously reassess their story. What is your conception of your path so far? That's somewhere between phenomenology and psychoanalysis, but none the worse for that.