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Kestenberg, J.S. (1973). Comments on Movement Therapy as a Psychotherapeutic Tool. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 21:347-350.

(1973). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 21:347-350

Comments on Movement Therapy as a Psychotherapeutic Tool

Judith S. Kestenberg, M.D.

In a lively presentation, Siegel tries to link her technique of movement therapy with psychoanalytic theory. This is by no means an easy task, especially insofar as psychoanalytic theory is based on metapsychology and psychoanalytic therapy on a day-by-day, minute-by-minute, metapsychological assessment of the patient's productions and the analyst's technique. Psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapies and the parapsychiatric techniques of reeducation, dance-art-and music therapies are not usually bound by a comparable theoretical framework and a comparable assessment.

Siegel's aims are to use motor therapy as an ego-building tool to help the patient desomatize and aid him in the restructuring of the body image, rather than disorganize him by seductive libidinization and aggressivization of the body. To evaluate how close she comes to these ideals, we need to assess not only the patient but also the technical procedures as applied to the particular individual. As analysts, we make such assessments primarily from our patients' and our own verbal productions, but we also note and understand intuitively motor expressions and intonations. This requires a talent for an easy transposition of clinical manifestations to psychoanalytic theorizations.

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