No announcement yet.

Playing By Heart

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Playing By Heart

    Posted by Barrett<script language="JavaScript1.3" type="text/javascript"> document.write(timestamp(new Date(1999,9,23,12,34,0), dfrm, tfrm, 0, 0, 0, 0)); </script> (Member # 67) on 23-10-1999 19:34<noscript>October 23, 1999 12:34 PM</noscript>:

    Where paths that have affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home, for a time.

    Hermann Hesse
    The nature of my manual approach for painful problems is something I explain on numerous levels, write about endlessly, and defend with a small mountain of literature. I tell my classes that that large pile of paper on the front table at every workshop is not there for me to hide behind or within, but for me to stand upon. I use what we know of the body's workings to create techniques of care, and its workings are an intricate and complex thing, thus the size of the pile.
    But if I were forced to carry just one book with me to justify what I do, it might be a little known volume written by a psychologist named O. Fred Donaldson called "Playing By Heart."
    This is another of my books full of underlinings, stars and exclamations in the borders and post-it notes marking special pages. It's full of quotes from an incredible variety of sources, and I've used many of them to begin essays about things related to therapy.
    Donaldson's premise is that "play" is distinct from contest, and that its attributes are essential for a great deal of personal growth and for the most therapeutic forms of human relationship. In play, he posits, "we don't know that we are different than each other," and that this field of interaction engenders self-revelation, authenticity, and insights across generations and cultural divisions.
    He's right of course, and anyone watching a master clinician working in our field will certainly recognize the "trust in a web of relationship (in which)the game really has only one side, not competeing elements, not effort, but grace." I personally saw Feldenkrais do this, as well as Berta Bobath.
    Although there are many aspects of this book that deserve careful reading and analysis, including the nature of playful touching, I often think of Donaldson's exposition on what he calls "The Duchess' Game." This explains the problems in our lives and efforts to recover when we always believe "the Duchess' Rule" i.e. "The more there is for me, the less there is for you."
    It's been my experience that people in pain feel that they have "lost" something, and that they have to "win" it back. If the therapist doesn't understand the flaw in this reasoning, and if they don't understand the nature of play, supposedly therapeutic sessions can become little more than contest. The implications of this are evident in traditional care that produces fear, feelings of inadequecy, and little progress toward relief. Of course, I'm not suggesting that the therapists reading this would work in a place like this. I hear about these places from my pateints, that's all.
    Maybe we need to lighten up a bit. maybe we need to become playmates for a few moments each day. This book will help you understand the potential of that.
    The book is "Playing By Heart: The Vision and Practice of Belonging" by O. Fred Donaldson (Health Communications Inc. 1993)
    Last edited by Barrett Dorko; 13-11-2013, 01:27 AM.
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
    If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein