chapter  6
18 Pages

Unipolar Shape Flow

WithJanet Kestenberg Amighi, Susan Loman, K. Mark Sossin

Unipolar shape flow provides the foundation for many environmental responses. Janet Kestenberg Amighi offers the amoeba as an illustration of unipolar shape flow movements. Unipolar movement patterns expand and contract body parts in specific dimensions in space. Unipolar shape flow provides the structure for the expression of emotions, particularly, of attraction and repulsion. In terms of development, unipolar behaviours have a base in both the bipolar system of global growing and shrinking and also in reflexes. During a partner exercise in Kestenberg Movement Profile training workshops, participants were instructed to respond to an array of pleasant and mildly noxious stimuli using only unipolar growing and shrinking movements. An important aspect of unipolar shape flow is its role as a developmental bridge between bipolar shape flow and shaping in directions. Unipolar widening is used in stretching toward a pleasant stimulus, such as a caregiver or an interesting sound.