ABSTRACT

An analogy has often been drawn between the psyche and theater or stage. Terms such as “schema,” “map,” “scene,” “story,” “script,” and “relational interactive pattern” have been used to depict the dynamic workings of the brain and a conscious and unconscious experiential mind. “The complex picture of a brain creating an ever-changing individualistic picture of a world full of personal meaning coincides with our sense of a self experiencing an integrated and orchestrated stream of consciousness” (Lichtenberg, Lachmann, and Fosshage, 2002, p. 15). Developmentalists suggest that the individualistic picture of a world of personal meaning forms as memories of events of affective significance to an infant and toddler. “Mommy baked cookies. I eated.” Many times a patient’s narrative holds closely to the event as remembered with the individuals involved, its sights, sounds, and smells, and the emotions evoked. Other times what is communicated is less an event narrative and more a generalized outlook or feeling state, an accumulated good-naturedness or irritability, optimism or pessimism, courage or apprehension, pride or shame. The mode of communication may be telling in explicit words or enacting through procedural memory.