chapter  13
22 Pages

The body in psychotherapy: Calatonia and Subtle Touch techniques

ByANITA J. RIBEIRO-BLANCHARD, LEDA PERILLO SEIXAS

Several schools of somatic psychology are rapidly developing, drawing upon diverse theoretical models and closely following research on the neuroscience of trauma, psychoneuroimmunology and implicit memory, as well as studies on infant and parent interactions (e.g. Solomon and Siegel 2003). The development of body psychotherapy reflects also a demand in society. There is a sense of perplexity: bioethical dilemmas confront us with the illusion of control by medical and scientific manipulations of the body (Levine 2007), while lifestyle aesthetics demand a vigilance of the body as perceived externally – through the mirror, gym and media – in a lifestyle constructed by agenda-setting (McCombs 2004). Given the prevalence of physical and affective loneliness in late modernity, compounded by the growth of virtual realities, the need for physical contact has taken on narcissistic ways of compulsive physical self-scrutinizing. Consequently, the smallest physiological imbalance might cause anxiety and assume the status of an illness. Common life processes, from premenstrual tension to sadness due to loss, have been medicalized (Conrad 2007), separating people from their inner experience and growth.