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Whale, J. (2001). When the Body Speaks: the Archetypes in the Body. By Mara Sidoli. Routledge. Pp x + 127. £14.99.. Psychoanal. Psychother., 15(2):194-196.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 15(2):194-196

When the Body Speaks: the Archetypes in the Body. By Mara Sidoli. Routledge. Pp x + 127. £14.99.

Review by:
Judith Whale

Mara Sidoli sets out in this book to apply Jungian theories and concepts to enhance our understanding of infant development and the genesis of psychosomatic disturbances. The book arises out of a lifetime of experience of Jungian analytic work in this field, her special interest in mother-baby observation, on which she taught in London, Santa Fe and New York, and a clear understanding of the work of Jung, Fordham, Klein, Bion and others. She combines these with a quality of presentation and writing which draws the reader on to eagerly read and reflect upon the next piece of the work. She writes engagingly and lucidly; theory is used as a scaffolding on which to locate clinical experience, and is understandable, and she manages to convey a compassionate professionalism to the reader.

The result is a book which is both readable and technically valuable.

She begins by briefly introducing some key concepts: Jung's theory of the psyche, with emphasis on the self and the archetypes, and Fordham's theory of the primary self, with the deintegration-reintegration cycle necessary for ego and bodily growth with which he applies Jung's theory of the psyche to the onset of life and to childhood. She expresses her interest in linking these two, and then goes on to develop the theme of the role of archetypal patterns in earliest infancy in relation to the instinctual and spiritual poles of the archetype.

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