I sigh a breath of relief when I see the table in the room I rather wouldn’t be in. The shape and size of the piece of furniture determine the rules. The place at which I’m invited to position myself, is presented. We are seated at the table, in a room in which the table listens to no one.
In Between researches the physical and emotional distance between therapist and client. The relationship between the mental health professional and the person seeking help evokes curiosity in me. Do we trust ‘the other’, despite, or because of their adhering to strict protocol? The fragile tension between these opposites is of importance to both the client and therapist, because it determines the progress of the relationship between the two people.
In my project the table 'between' the client and therapist takes on a central role. The furniture in the practice accommodates dozens of people every day: the distance is determined over and over again, yet consistently remains the same. The table is the independent object that remains impartial, constantly taking on a new functional and metaphorical identity.
The interplay between distance and proximity that I talk about in my project, whether in psychiatry or at home at the kitchen table, says a lot about the situation we find ourselves in. In the current pandemic climate this theme is more topical than ever. During these uncertain times, it feels as if distance and proximity, in any form, call for new meaning, demanding awareness. Spatiality carries an abstract but tangible load.
There is a lot of talk among healthcare providers about the rules with regard to distance and proximity. With my project I hope to shed light on the client’s perspective.