Transvision: Unknotting Double Binds in the Fog of War

  • Douglas FlemonsEmail author
  • Laurie L. Charlés


This chapter is written as a metalogue—a dialogue in which the pattern of the interaction reflects, mirrors, and/or contributes to the topic at hand. The authors use this form of presentation to explore the extraordinary emotional, existential, and ethical challenges foreigners face when providing systemically oriented therapy and supervision in high-conflict countries. The chapter touches on issues of trauma, disorientation, colonialism, and secrecy, as well as feelings of trust, respect, fear, guilt, and inadequacy. The discussion, both emotional and theoretical, delves deeply into the second author’s experiences working with Syrian clinicians, with a particular focus during a 6-month period in the third year of the Syrian civil war. It also explicates and illustrates the nature of her conversations with the first author, whom she contacted at the time for help with her personal and supervisory challenges. The authors introduce the term transvision to articulate the process by which their conversations helped the second author find her way through the fog generated by the Syrian conflict. They use and repurpose cybernetic and systemic ideas, such as double bind, boundaries, and communication, to illuminate how existential and clinical struggles can be collaboratively understood and effectively addressed.


Gregory Bateson William Blake Boundaries Communication Cybernetics Double bind High-conflict states Hypnotherapy Labeling Syria Trance Trauma Vicarious trauma War WHO 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  2. 2.Family Therapist, Independent ResearcherBostonUSA

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