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Deutsch, F. (1952). Analytic Posturology. Psychoanal Q., 21:196-214.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21:196-214

Analytic Posturology

Felix Deutsch, M.D.

For the past seven years the study of the postural behavior of patients during analytic therapy has proved to be worthy of thorough investigation, primarily as research in the study of the origin and the development of motility in a controlled experimental situation in which the bodily reactions to psychic stimuli, past and present, could be observed over a long period. The experimental conditions are such that control is only partial in that each stimulus is applied in a total situation. This is similarly valid for psychic stimuli. All stimuli pass through long prepared pathways and become metamorphosed, before integration and conscious perception, at a place and in a form which corresponds to a psychosomatic pattern. Moreover, any stimulus—exteroceptive or proprioceptive—represents merely an additional one to other stimuli simultaneously in operation, which are at the time not under scrutiny. The psychoanalytic procedure, which stirs up large quantities of psychic energy, is continually accompanied by correlated but invisible physiological adaptations and responses. The physiologist Adrian (1) very impressively presented these correlations some years ago to the British Psychoanalytic Society. In estimating postural reactions, or motor behavior, during analysis, it must always be kept in mind that whatever happens in one part of the body is reflected in the whole body and is integrated into the functioning of the whole organism. This is true for the simplest as well as for the more complex processes.

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