025: The Soul of Desire: The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Longing, Beauty, and Community
Curt Thompson, M.D.
Being Known, LLC
4822 24th St. N.
Arlington, VA 22207
It is common for healthcare providers to frame the nature of our work in terms of pathology, problems, and mental illness. Our tacit way of engaging our work is by first, and often primarily, answering the following, “What is the problem, and how do we solve it?” This is not unhelpful insofar as it provides one way of interpreting the world as it is. However, we can become over-committed to this plausibility structure so much that we are disabled from, or at the very least, limited in, our ability to imagine a different way of understanding the work we do with patients. This workshop invites us to consider the additional question, “What is the next, new, beautiful thing that you want to create?” This query harnesses fundamental elements of interpersonal neurobiology, emphasizing the place and role of beauty in drawing our attention, and then our imagination, toward that which we long for ourselves and want our world to become. We will explore the practical applications and benefits of developing the practice of faithfully putting ourselves in the path of oncoming beauty and witness the embodied, relational transformation that emerges as a result.
• Identify fundamental principles of interpersonal neurobiology
• Demonstrate the significance of the nature of the mind’s domain of narration
• Identify the place and role of beauty as a significant element in the healing process
• Demonstrate practical applications for licensed mental health professionals and psychologists of the experience of beauty as a way of emotional healing and transformation