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Krantz, A.M. (2012). Let the Body Speak: Commentary on Paper by Jon Sletvold. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(4):437-448.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(4):437-448

Let the Body Speak: Commentary on Paper by Jon Sletvold

Anne M. Krantz, BC-DMT

Jon Sletvold's stimulating paper focuses on how our bodies implicitly communicate and proposes that salient unconscious material can be accessed through experiential embodiment within a psychoanalytic intersubjective training paradigm. My commentary suggests several links between his model and dance movement therapy perspectives on the relational body/mind. I introduce dance therapy and discuss similar and different approaches used in somatically oriented therapy and training. The bodily basis of intersubjectivity has drawn attention to nonverbal communications in the therapeutic relationship and somatic aspects of transference and countertransference. One way that our unconscious experience of self and others' bodies is communicated is through postural representations of emotionally salient relational dynamics and self-states. In Sletvold's model, the trainee mimes the patient's body posture to expand awareness through empathy and reflective function. In dance therapy, approaches such as physicalization and improvisation bring awareness and reflective process to previously unconscious embodied states. I agree fully with Sletvold that approaches developed in the arts and creative therapies can enrich the nonverbal aspect of analytic training, and encourage a continuing dialogue between the body-oriented therapies and psychoanalysis.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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