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Anthi, P.R. (1986). Non-Verbal Behaviour and Body Organ Fantasies. Their Relation to Body Image Formation and Symptomatology. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 67:417-428.

(1986). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 67:417-428

Non-Verbal Behaviour and Body Organ Fantasies. Their Relation to Body Image Formation and Symptomatology

Per Roar Anthi


A deliberate analytic approach to various non-verbal manifestations may in some cases be a point of departure for exploring idiosyncratic representations of body organs and body image. Relevant clinical material is presented to illustrate how such representations may be developed. Further, I have attempted to suggest how the roots of body image formation reflect early levels of concept formation influenced by primary process and derived from an amalgamation of what has been called enactive and imagic modes of thinking (McLaughlin, 1984). The enactive mode comprises a combination of affective processes entwined with proprioceptive, visceral, motoric and sensory feeling. The imagic mode refers to visual, auditory, tactile and gustatory impressons (Horowitz, 1983).

The pre-oedipal and oedipal determinants of an analysand's symptomatology and of his body image pathology are examined. Moreover, the pre-oedipal antecedents of his Oedipus and castration complex are illuminated.

The psychic and somatic implications of his particular 'testicularization' of his body and of his body image fantasies are discussed.

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