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CATES, L.B. (2018). SILENCING OF SADNESS: FINDING THE STORY IN THE BODY. Psychoanal. Self. Cxt., 13(3):259-271.

(2018). Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context, 13(3):259-271



The silencing of sadness, embedded in our cultural zeitgeist, is often linked to a radical form of dissociation that bypasses the lived body: “It is through my body that I understand other people” (Merleau-Ponty, 1945/1962, p. 295). Sadly, radical dissociation separates us from the knowledge our bodies contain and the stories that are yet to be heard and told. This work continues my journey into the exploration of bodily emotion by extending my earlier formulation of a primordial sense of being that suggests a felt-sense of authenticity I have called core affective experience (2011) with a consideration of ending the silencing of sadness. Explored here is the importance of bringing embodied experience into the relational process using (a) an emotional phenomenological framework for investigating the lived body; and (b) an extralinguistic affective form of mutual influence in preparing the way for imbuing bodily emotion with linguistic experience. A specific focus concerns transmuting problems associated with “having a body” (depicted as the objectified body) into problems associated with “being a body” (viewed as the lived body). This process renders the silencing of sadness a perceptible phenomenon in the treatment of those suffering from radical dissociation.

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