In psychoanalysis, the third place, or thirdness can be understood as an ‘intersubjective’ space. The place that a relationship between two people creates.
The analytic third is often defined as the psychological (triangular) space between self and other, subject and object, fantasy and reality – the third dimension that emerges from two persons fully engaged in the exploration of unconscious meanings, reasons, motives and actions
The analytic third is what we create when we make genuine contact with one another at a deeper emotional level of experience whether in dyads, groups, communities, or organizations.
— Diamond, Michael. (2007). Organizational Change and the Analytic Third: Locating and Attending to Unconscious Organizational Psychodynamics. Psychoanalysis. 12. 10.1057/palgrave.pcs.2100116., Research Gate
When a window opens between two people and allows them to share, it develops some element of their inner psyche. It is created through meaningful, intentional, and whole communication – on the cognitive, emotional, and visceral level. Both people need to show up, in order to create and later nourish the third dimension they created.
This might be the case when seeing a therapist in her chamber, or orchestra practicing in the same building. The communication that happens, either explicit or tacit will contribute to how creative, and imaginative this third place can be.
That idea, in and of itself is a great qualifier for relationships that support growth and is valuable for the exploration of this work. Does technology and our usage habits hinder our capacity to build, and be in an intersubjective space?
More on this in coming weeks