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Gross, C. (2008). The Embodied Self. Movement and psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Psychother., 22(4):306-310.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 22(4):306-310

The Embodied Self. Movement and psychoanalysis

Carola Gross

by Katya Bloom. Foreword by Anne Alvarez, London, Karnac Books, 2006, 226 pp., £22.50 (paperback)

The potency of psychoanalysis goes far beyond the traditional therapeutic approach, and we increasingly find it in its application to and interface with other forms of psychotherapy and human enquiry in different settings. This book by Katya Bloom sets out to bring the two different approaches of movement therapy and psychoanalysis closer to each other, by opening a dialogue between them and exploring their potential cross-fertilization. She builds bridges between the two disciplines by outlining their theoretical concepts and frameworks, the diagnostic tools of assessment in each approach, and their means of intervention.

In her foreword, Anne Alvarez recognizes the author's achievement and acknowledges that Bloom respectfully represents both fields of enquiry. Alvarez summarizes the benefits for both disciplines: psychoanalysis can benefit from the dynamic quality of movement observation and in understanding the somatic countertransference; movement therapy can benefit from modern psychoanalytic concepts of object relations, unconscious phantasy, and transference/countertransference.

The embodied self is a conceptualization of the whole person, both mind and body, in their psychophysical integration. The author explores the role of movement in the body-mind interrelationship, its expressive and communicative functions, and its developmental dimensions, especially in relation to primitive defences and unconscious phantasies.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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