In family therapy, the therapist is not a neutral observer, but an active participant in the therapeutic interaction.
In the initial phase of getting to know the family, in the joining phase, the therapist immerses himself in the life of the family, in its own reality, in order to be able to then bless the emergence of the family.
In the long process of healing mixed-ethnic marriages, I felt the need to separate myself from the complexity that was in front of me. I had to wonder about the reasons for the foreign partner's voluntary denial of the place of origin and the costs this entailed. To question whether the removal was a product of necessity or desire. To wonder if love was the cause or effect of the removal. If it was about fluttering life or acting out against life.
To wonder if the love for the other partner was the result of the intoxication of experiencing the achievement of the encounter or the response to the invitation to something that will never be achieved. To wonder if the specific relationship was a relationship of dominance or mutual exclusion. I had to understand the difficulties that this coexistence gave rise to, but also the dynamics of this coexistence.
During therapy sessions with interethnic marriages I often heard them accuse the Greeks saying "I can't stand the Greeks anymore" and yet I was a Greek who listened to them and who expected my understanding...
This reminded me of some other sessions where confident women told me accusingly of their partners that "men will never be able to understand women" and yet I was a man. Analogous correspondences gave birth to the thoughts that I will share with you today and which concern the meeting of the two sexes in love.
-Two different nations
-Two different cultures
-Two different languages
But I wonder: is there a marriage that does not presuppose diversity? Don't partners come from different worlds, with different family cultures, and don't each possess a personal language and a personal decoder of the other's behavior?
Diversity is the cause of attraction and approach. R. Bart notes: The other, the unknown. The lover is a prisoner of this contradiction. On the one hand, he believes that he knows his partner better than anyone and tells him triumphantly, "I know you. Only I know you well." On the other hand, it is often dominated by the following self-evident truth: "The other is impenetrable and unfindable. I cannot open him, find his roots, solve his riddle. Where does it come from? Who is; I'm becoming a jerk. I'll never know."
Of course, the other person cannot be our reflection, our idol, as some undifferentiated insecure people demand and for whom any differentiation of their partner is a blow to their pathological narcissism. And of course the partner is not our other half either. Lacan emphasizes: One sex is not the "other half" of the other, as imagined in the myth of Hermaphrodite and which covers hysterical phantasies.
In clinical practice, this fantasy is experienced in the partner's demand that the other is responsible for whatever bad happens in their lives, since he should magically fill every void.
In love, two people of different sexes struggle to get close to each other. He who is overcome by redemptive love does not fall in love with his beloved exactly as she appears within the limitations of time, but with the image that his lust has made, the image that has been concretized in the form of the beloved. So he loves the embodiment of his ideal... The lover runs the risk of being blinded by his love – not by his beloved.
In embracing love, the lover seeks that which will complete him, but this cannot be limited to quantitative concepts. In the final analysis, the lover is not carried away by the drive towards the opposite sex, but by the lust for the third party, which is more than the sum of two lovers. The person who loves does not derive its value from the person of the beloved. Eron is divine, eromenon need not be. Love addresses people without measuring their worth. The erotic focus on a particular person is a mystery that reaches to the primordial depths of our being.
The position of the person in love is not determined by whether his love is in harmony with the respective moral principles, but by whether this love is capable of leading him to the salutary transcendence of himself.
The Psychiatrist X. Varouhakis in the 3rd Takhtsoglio of Dafnios, saw a face in the people who had denied it to them and who themselves had forgotten it... and this was the cure. Whereas when Psychiatrists lose their face and become possessors of one-dimensional cloned industrial knowledge they cease to be erotic, they have lost their very life, the ability to love and therefore to heal.
The purifying love of the worldly has nothing to do with the optimism of cowardice, nor with the fearful fleeting glance towards the abysmal depths of life, nor with the childish ignorance of the decay of the world. But from the intoxicating desire of fusion, amorous love can easily turn into hatred. In this case it does not seek the different to merge with it, but to destroy it. (By the way, eros and eris in Greek have the same root).
Biology has taught us the two mechanisms that living organisms have with regard to the foreign element. When the foreign element is recognized as hostile, the survival mechanism of Expulsion is activated. But when the foreign element is recognized as useful for the organism, the mechanism of Intake of the foreign element that promotes life is activated.
Some societies respectively are hostile to the foreign element for reasons related to their survival. On the contrary, important cultures as well as safe societies have the capacity to absorb elements foreign to them and thus to renew and enrich themselves.
We know that the rules that govern a couple's life are divided into personal and social rules. As long as the transnational partner relationship works, the personal rules (created by the partners themselves, either through consultation and negotiation or tacit acceptance) apply. But when a dispute arises, who will undertake to judge and with what rules as a basis? Their own private ones or the social ones that govern their settlement community?
When the couple's relationship falls into the search for justification, it turns into a power struggle, i.e. dominance, i.e. death. When the love game becomes a game of dominance, pleasure is associated with pain and partners are selectively identified as victims and abusers.
Then I will deny his language, I will never learn it and I will protest that he does not speak mine and is responsible for the problem of communication between us. I will attack his dreams, I will insult his values, I will destroy his aspirations, I will denounce his family, his roots. His work will become a point of friction and his interest in her, a sign that he doesn't love me...
Any psychological insights I have will become poisoned interpretations aimed at the Achilles heel of his heart. I will seek and invoke third parties, not to get out of the hopeless misery of self-righteousness, but to find allies who will attack him, who will disarm him, who will help me in his extermination...
I will seek out therapists who think linearly and challenge them to look at my partner's symptoms to confirm his psychopathology. I will look for judges who will have my own criteria and who will abhor everything foreign, so that they can justify me...
The solution, of course, lies in remobilizing the forces that lead not to what is right, but to what is functional.
We are in the Philosophical building and therefore we have to listen to the sage who answered with the search for measure. The "perfect measure" is not the average, as some decadent, deprived and conservative Philologists claim, nor mediocrity, nor the intermediate between the two points of view, but the search for the functional in the specific place, at the specific time, by the specific people .
Therefore, measure can neither be given, nor borrowed, nor mechanically transmitted, but only creatively and painfully produced. The work of therapists lies here.
Discomfort with our small daily mundane tasks becomes a love problem that overcoming it is a matter of life or death of our love, of our life itself.
If love is to find its way back to the gods, it must cast aside the obstacle of disgust for worldly things. His worldview background must be the affirmation of the meaning of life.
Conference "Balkans and Mental Health. The youth in the vortex of changes", Thessaloniki 1997