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Steingart, I. Freedman, N. (1975). The Organization of Body-Focused Kinesic Behavior and Language Construction in Schizophrenic and Depressed States. Psychoanal. Contemp. Sci., 4(1):423-450.
    

(1975). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Science, 4(1):423-450

The Organization of Body-Focused Kinesic Behavior and Language Construction in Schizophrenic and Depressed States

Irving Steingart, Ph.D. and Norbert Freedman, Ph.D.

In the course of a clinical exchange or therapeutic hour, there are frequent occasions when a patient's hands engage in the exploration of feet, legs, arms, or fingertips at the very moment when the manifest communicative effort is directed toward another person. Before the listener, there appears a dirge sung with the hands in which the patient, in Ferenczi's (1931) phrase, recapitulates the biographical tragedy, and seems to portray a condensed representation of shame, injury, self-repair, or helplessness. Such body-focused activity has its ontogenous roots in the mother-child interaction and may be elicited under conditions of stress, especially with experiences of object loss (Freedman, O'Hanlon, Oltman, and Witkin, 1972). When it appears in the communication of adults, body-focused activity represents a discontinuity of the rhythmic participation of hands or head in articulated speech which has been observed by Dittmann and Llewellyn (1969).

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