Potential Space — A space to grow
“an environment that holds the baby well enough, the baby is able to make personal development according to the inherited tendencies. The result is a continuity of existence that becomes a sense of existing, a sense of self, and eventually results in autonomy.”
― D. W. Winnicott, Home Is Where We Start From: Essays by a Psychoanalyst
(Photos by Putter the photographer)
Our Nat Studio trip to Poland really is more than just about music. We aim to encourage the children to explore, to go out of their comfort zone, to try new things, to learn to become stronger and more independent.
The children have learnt to do so many things by themselves from cleaning to managing their own time. In this trip, they also learn to make new friends cross-culturally. They learn to use their imagination to communicate with others and they learn to walk right through what adults might think as language barrier. By the third day, everyone reported having so much fun with their host families. They learn to communicate in different ways to play and to spend time together.
This quote from Winnicott, a famous English psychoanalyst, really captures the experience the children are going through. In this trip, we give them ‘an environment that holds [them] well enough’. They feel safe in our hands and in their hosts’ hands. At the same time, they have enough time and space among themselves to explore and to make ‘personal development’ of their own. This ‘potential space’, as Winnicott calls it, is the space that they can truly become more independent.
Each day I see their faces change, the children become more confident in themselves. They seem to start to know themselves better. This happens because they finally have the time to reflect on themselves, to use their own survival skills, and to be with themselves.
Coming back to music, with this tremendous development within themselves, their performance changes as well. The children are becoming more fearless in their performance on stage. If they could play well before, now I can say that they have also become more confident to show their talent to the world.
All they need is a ‘holding environment’ to grow confidently in their own skin. This trip is giving them that space, that time, and that potential to get to know themselves.