Chris Robertson

Matters of the heart; the heart of the matter


To appreciate heart as a connecting, integrating organ that brings together thinking, feeling, seeing and through the imagination gives a place to Soul. Just as the physical heart links the head with the lower body, so the psychical heart acts as an integrating organ to link abstract thinking with our instinctual ground of being. We speak of the heart's desire, that deep longing, almost as if it were an instinct. We also know in our hearts in a way that is more to do with wisdom than abstract thinking. When we are in contact with our hearts we are most intimately soulful. The heart is also the centre of our imaginative life. It is the place from which we can connect to our client's world - not so much the history that they tell of themselves but their dream world in which their longings are more openly expressed.


Using sensing, pair work with client examples, imaginal dialogue and group conversations to shift the locus of feeling from solar plexus to heart.


For practitioners to come to a closer alignment and appreciation of heart so as to distinguish feelings such as existential guilt and shame from neurotic guilt and shame.


Matters of heart are what connects persons to what is vital and moving for them (like metaphorically their blood). Often the kernel, the nub of a deep personal issue lies in the heart. Ego psychologies too often assume a neurotic frame for a client’s problem associated with family and superego issues. The soul lies neglected, hence compounding the alienation the client feels. To open the heart of the matter is to penetrate deeply into the vital secrets of the psyche.