Instroke - Empathy and the Therapeutic Relationship

At the 4th International Biosynthesis Congress in 2006, Dr. Allan Schore made a presentation and participated in a panel discussion with David Boadella. Throughout his discussions, Schore emphasized the results of his research on right brain activity and the value of this information in therapy. Schore’s developmental neuro-science focuses on right brain functioning which involves emotions more then the left brain which is dominated by logic. For Schore, affect lies at the core of the self, there are two brains – left and right - and as a result, two selves. The right brain self he calls the implicit self, and the left brain self he calls the explicit self. The affect dominated right brain is the seat of the unconscious and the source of Freud’s drives. The self of the right brain is a body-based, non–verbal, emotional, implicit self. It is here that we learn affect regulation. (The logic dominated left brain is concerned with the explicit self). He cited research that shows that 50% of effective therapy is based on empathy no matter what approach the therapist may be using. He pointed out that empathy is also right brain, affect based. He spoke of creating a “collaborative alliance” with the patient as being the most effective therapeutic approach – more effective then any technique or theory. Normally we think that conscious control is the key to effective functioning.

Key Words
Right brain domination, collaborative alliance, Wilhelm Reich, Instroke, Functional Analysis, endo-psychic self, implicit self, self organization, self referential, self relations theory, autopoiesis, psychic metabolism.