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Fries, E.F. (2012). Perchance to Sleep: Minding the Unworded Body in Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(5):586-605.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(5):586-605

Perchance to Sleep: Minding the Unworded Body in Psychoanalysis

Ellen F. Fries, L.C.S.W.

In contemporary relational psychoanalysis, influenced by developmental/attachment theories, infant research, and neurobiology, the effectiveness and transformational potential of “the talking cure” can be thought of as, at times, located in areas of nonverbal engagement. It has become increasingly evident that human experience is born in the body and structured in body-based memory that informs us of what we “know in our gut” and contributes to our relating as embodied beings—experiences that as psychoanalysts we cannot or need not necessarily translate directly into declarative discourse. A detailed case presentation from work with a patient suffering from a severe sleep disorder and other forms of bodily dysregulation will be offered to illustrate and explore the affectively meaningful engagement between patient and analyst of somatically encoded, presymbolic memory within the context of a symbolically rich, verbal treatment relationship.

[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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