|Life on the carpet|
Starting with the least connectedness, this is what I made of it:
After the long-distance people had said their goodbyes, the carpet was looking a bit empty – so, feeling that I had missed out on something that might be important, and rather than sitting in the conference chairs, I thought I would summon up the nerve to give it a try. It was fine - I lasted there until the final review finished at 0025 on Saturday morning. For the first hour or so, I was happy with (1) and (2) – slouching around on the carpet like you might do in front of the fire or TV at home. But then, as people came and went, there was quite a lot of symmetrical touch (3), brief caressing (4) and long big goodbye hugs.
Just a thought about greencare here. One thing I often say is that people with severe borderline conditions very often trust animals much more than they do humans - obviously because they have been so badly let down or abused by humans in their past. They get great comfort from looking after animals, and are very physically free with them - as indeed are most people. This can be a very useful precursor to trusting humans enough to talk and start exploring their experience therapeutically - I well remember a mute and deeply depressed and hostile young woman in a TC who came alive, with almost an inner radiance, when she was with animals - but returned to her impenetrable and mute sullenness in the community meetings. But over time, step by step, for example talking to her when she was with the animals, she was able to engage in the therapy. But this process - of doing the comforting physical contact with humans - seems to be very effective in short-circuiting the need to relate to animals, and very quickly developing an uncanny level of trust between people.