Sounds like a banal question, but it really isn’t. It is a question that determines how we will view the human being at the beginning of the 21st century. This article examines some epistemological positions of approaching human problems. But the question is not just epistemological. It has practical implications for theory and our worldview. It has very practical implications for methods of working with people.
In addition, there is the question of why in the 1960s the problem was thought to be in a relationship? The popularity of cybernetics, gestalt, and the entire Big Sur scene from the west coast of the U.S. that combined systemic therapies with insights from Zen has been replaced by genetic markers or pills under the table. Obviously it is not just a matter of the problem, it is also a matter of the popularity of a particular paradigm within which human problems are viewed at all.
The human problems of the 1960s were thus placed in context and field or relationships. A person who has problems in one relationship will not have them in another type of relationship or communication. The problem is therefore seen as lying in the field of relationships that are created between us. And then again, the question arises- if the problem is in the relationship, why do we carry it with us everywhere? Why do some people, wherever they go, constantly encounter the same types of problems? Why do systemic therapies, systemic constellations, or group therapies work on the principle of “fields” in which similar types of problems will often occur? Human problems often recur in different contexts – why? How do these fields work within systemic therapy or constellations in general?
And what could we actually do with repeating problems across multiple fields? And then – a million-dollar question- what is a person anyway? And what are human problems?
This article is not intended to offer answers, but to encourage us to think. Too much of our psychological thinking deals with solutions, and too little we think about what our assumptions about the problem are in the first problems. And to think about the problem, we need to know our assumptions about the thinking. And if we see what they are, what about practical things? How do we solve this field that somehow in our human form always seems to be tagging along with us? As intersubjective psychoanalysts have said, no person exists in a vacuum. As sociologists say, context is important. And then again, are we nevertheless repeating certain problems across contexts?
Here are some questions from me, and it is up to you to deal with the answers yourself. And reflections. Or share them with us. The idea is to point out that it is about time to (again) raise these issues and explore these epistemologies both their boundaries and the opportunities they offer.