As Freud said “the ego is first and foremost a bodily ego.” Our experience of ourselves as “some-body” begins with our physical experience, and our subjective experience of body remains one of the most reliable indicators of our psychic state. However we often neglect this experience of ourselves which becomes overshadowed by our thinking.
Body in Psychotherapy
Body is experienced in a number of ways in psychotherapy: There is the way you enter the room and sit or lie down; the gestures you make; physical sensations - smell, taste, sight, sound, experience of temperature; physical ailments and pains. These are all treated as symptoms which may be fruitfully understood as part of the work of therapy.
When I sit with you I pay close attention to my own bodily experience as sometimes it offers me insight into what might be happening in the room, and I encourage you to let me know, not only your thoughts and feelings, but also what is happening in your body. Being mindful of your total experience in this way sometimes offers a new perspective on yourself.
Over time in any psychotherapy an empathic “field” develops where unconscious communication takes place at a very primitive level. The most primitive communication is wordless, outside the realm of signifiers, and often experienced in the body ... Sorry I am busy with patients, but I will be back to finish writing this soon!