chapter  5
7 Pages

Aesthetic sensibility

An aesthetic sensibility invites the psychotherapist and patient to stand side by side and turn towards the world, slowing down, and widening the sphere of importance beyond the intrapsychic, developmental, and family system. Aesthetic sensibility, the response of the heart to the presentation of things, is a requirement of soul; 'psyche is the life of our aesthetic responses'. Hillman has situated the psychology of aesthetics in the temple of Aphrodite, stating: 'She appears above all in the manifest, not as content of it, but as the manifest visible image, the displayed presentation'. An aesthetic psychotherapy presents a strong counterforce to the mechanized and manualized forms of treatment, the very negation of particularity and sensual response. Bleakley noted 'an animalizing eye and an animalizing aesthetic may be educated through attention to metaphors of form as well as actual form, although these metaphors appear to have greater vitality if they stay close to the biological'.