Finding the Body in the Mind: Embodied Memories, Trauma, and Depression

Author(s) : Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber

Part of IPA - Psychoanalytic Ideas and Applications series - more in this series

Finding the Body in the Mind: Embodied Memories, Trauma, and Depression

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : June 2015
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 320
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 36094
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782202097
  • ISBN 10 : 1782202099
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Since the 1990s many different scientific disciplines have intensified their interest in the so called 'mind-body-problem': psychoanalysis, philosophy, academic psychology, cognitive science and modern neuroscience. The conceptualization of how the mind works has changed completely, and this has profound implications for clinical psychoanalytical practice as well as for theorizing in contemporary psychoanalysis. The question of how unconscious fantasies and conflicts, as well as traumatic experiences, can be understood and worked through is, and has been, one of the central topics of psychoanalysis.

Interdisciplinary studies from the fields of embodied cognitive science, epigenetics, and cognitive neuroscience offer challenging explanations of the functions in the analyst´s mind which might allow him to create spontaneous associations through which he unconsciously 'understands' the traumatic, embodied experiences of the patient. As the clinical examples presented in this book suggest, it is the continuous observation in clinical situations - as well as the development of a holding and containing analytic relationship in long psychoanalyses - which finally allow the psychoanalyst and his patient to dare to re-experience the trauma (or other threatening infantile conflicts) directly in the transference. These processes open the doors for an increasingly detailed understanding of the traumatic material in the enactments and other forms of “embodied memories” of the analysand in the transference, and to initiate a process of working through.

In this book challenging epistemological and methodological questions are connected throughout with the interdisciplinary dialogue between psychoanalysis and modern neurosciences.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Psychoanalysts have always recognised that the mind is embodied, from Freud’s first sexual theories right through to the latest contributions of the Paris school of psychosomatics. But the most influential recent developments in this area have emanated not from psychoanalysis but from other disciplines, under the broad heading of “embodied cognitive science”. Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber is almost unique among psychoanalysts for having remained abreast of these developments. Drawing on her considerable clinical and research experience over several decades, this book provides a highly readable account of what modern psychoanalysts need to know about embodiment, in a language they will understand and easily apply to their practical work.’
- Mark Solms, Psychoanalyst and Professor in Neuropsychology, Cape Town, South Arica

‘The author offers us clinical cases that illustrate how psychoanalysis enlightens the mental experience of the body. At the same time, with rigorous scholarship, she engages in dialogue with neuroscience and embodied cognitive science, showing us promising ways – methodical, conceptual, epistemological and social – to keep psychoanalysis alive and at the vanguard of the twenty-first century.’
- Ricardo Bernardi, Director and Professor, Institute of Psychological Medicine, National Univeristy of Uruguay; and training analyst, Psychoanalytic Institute of Uruguay

‘This highly interesting book shows the unique work of the Sigmund Freud Institute in Frankfurt over the last decades: building bridges in an interdisciplinary dialogue between psychoanalysis, the neurosciences and embodied cognitive science in the form of theoretical models and practical research. Inspiring and challenging!’
- Dieter Bürgin, training analyst of the Swiss Psychoanalytical Society, Professor Emeritus for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

‘For Freud, the mind was embodied: as he famously put it, “the ego is first and foremost a bodily ego”. A century later, Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber brings forth a towering effort to integrate the ways in which the embodiment of mind has been addressed by psychoanalysis and the neurosciences.’
- Jorge L. Ahumada, training analyst of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association, Distinguished Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society

‘This book is intellectually stimulating, challenging, but also entertaining and shows a clear path of where psychoanalysis might go in the future. A must for anyone interested in psychoanalysis and clinical practice and theory in general.’
- Rolf Pfeifer, Institute for Academic Initiatives, Osaka University, Japan; and Visiting Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

About the Author(s)

Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber is professor emeritus for psychoanalysis at the University of Kassel, Germany. She is former director of the Sigmund-Freud-Institut in Frankfurt a.M., senior scientist at the University of Medicine in Mainz, a training and supervising analyst and author of numerous books and articles. She is the recipient of awards including the 2016 Sigourney Award and the IPA’s Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award.

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