Introduction by Vance Peavey
To visualize is to form a visual mental image of something. Visualizations can be constructed from memories, observations, immediate thought and feeling processes, or formed as anticipations and imagined futures.
Mapping is the activity of materializing visual images - that is, turning mental images into drawings, maps, graphs, designs, symbols, art forms, collages, and other materialized artefacts of the human mind. Mapping is a natural function performed in all cultures by nearly all children.
In SocioDynamic Counselling the processes of visualizing and mapping are regarded as essential cultural tools for communicating. Mapping is such a fundamental activity that we might refer to the human being as homo cartographicus. In SocioDynamic Counselling, mapping is used to further the learning and communication of both counsellors (in training) and help-seekers (who are trying to construct better pathways in life).
Speaking-listening, writing-reading, and visualizing are the three principal means of making meaning, communicating, and constructing cultural sense.
To watch mapping occur is an opportunity to observe the magic of a human mind mediating its objects of consciousness.
Maps do not just represent reality; they are tools for constructing reality.