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Rush, S. (2000). Listening Kinesthetically: A Clinical Application from a New Theory of Emotion. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(1):113-117.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(1):113-117

The Analyst's Notepad

Listening Kinesthetically: A Clinical Application from a New Theory of Emotion

Dr. Stephen Rush, Ph.D.


The subject of this paper is the clinical value of the ongoing observation by the analyst of any personal inclination toward action during patient sessions. This inclination may be felt in the body or as an attitude of mind. I am referring to this form of self-observation as “kinesthetic listening.” The data from such observations connect one with an elemental level of a patient's psyche. It does so more than the evidence which comes from analysis of the patient's language or movement, or even from projective identifications (Bion, 1962) through which aspects of the patient's personality are projected, introducing a feeling into the other person. Listening kinesthetically means being tuned in to the arousal of action in the analyst.

As psychoanalysis continues to shift its focus at the turn of the twentieth century, the theory of technique has all but overshadowed

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