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J Anal Psychol. 2013 Jun;58(3):327-46. doi: 10.1111/1468-5922.12017.

II Spatial metaphors and somatic communication: the embodiment of multigenerational experiences of helplessness and futility in an obese patient.

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This paper explores the analysis of an obese woman who came to experience her flesh as a bodying forth of personal and multigenerational family and cultural experiences of helplessness. The paper discusses the ideas and images that formed the basis of how I engaged with these themes as they presented countertransferentially. My thesis is that clinical approaches which draw on spatial metaphors for the psyche offer valuable tools for working with people whose inner world expresses itself somatically because such metaphors can be used to engage simultaneously with the personal, cultural, and ancestral dimensions of these unconscious communications. The paper builds on Jung's view of the psyche as comprised of pockets of inner otherness (complexes), on Redfearn's image of psyche as landscape-like and on Samuels' thinking on embodied countertransference and on the political psyche. It also draws on Butler's work on the body as a social phenomenon and on the theme of being a helpless non-person or nobody as explored in Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead which retells Shakespeare's Hamlet from the perspective of two of the play's 'bit' characters.

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