The Body in Psychotherapy

Instructor:  Gail Glenn, MAEd

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Dates: Fridays, October 4, 11,18,25, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 2019

Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Location: At the Institute,  8820 Ladue Road, 3rd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63124

This course is available via Distance Learning.  Details HERE.

Fee: $120 + $60 Resource Fee

This program, when attended in its entirety, is offered for: 12.0 Credit Hours


Psychoanalysis was considered a treatment of the body since Freud’s earliest conception of the “talking cure” (Anna O). Over the years analysts and therapists meandered around the subject of the integration and meaning of the mind and the body as a unit — each directing, effecting the other. For Freud, according to Leowald, (1980) the “instinct and the life of the body are one — bodily needs, habits, functions…smells, slights, body noises, sensations, pain and pleasure, are in the context of human life.” Our bodies and our psyches are interdependent, understanding the psyche is predicated on understanding the mind-body connection. This course is designed to explore these relationships in our clinical practice. We will discuss nonverbal cues, body awareness, the capacity to verbalize, to use metaphor, then integrate our understanding in work with our patients. Please be prepared to discuss clinical work during the course.


  1. The therapist will be able to apply the concept of “the ego is first and foremost a bodily ego” to her work with patients. Freud (1923)
  2. The therapist will be able to discuss the primacy of the body as the basis for life, as well as mental life, since Freud placed the body at the center of psychological treatment.
  3. The therapist will observe and apply meaning to the patient’s movements during a session.
  4. The therapist will describe the significance of metaphorical meanings as well as the unconscious meanings of the patient’s body vocabulary.
  5. The therapist will explain the function of emotion to coordinate the mind and body, organize perception, thought, memory, physiology, behavior and social interaction to provide a means for coping with a particular situation that is generating the emotion.
  6. The therapist will explain the refocusing on affect as a primary role in treatment. (A. Shore) An organizing principle of regulation theory is that attachment communications are implicit, affective and nonverbal, and that unconscious affect regulation plays a critical role in the mother/infant and therapist/patient dyad.
  7. The therapist will explain the influence of regulation theory implicit in nonverbal attachment communication.
  8. The therapist will describe the effect of a systemic dissociation of the mind from the body. There will be an understanding of how discursive thinking remains cut off from body vitality; when speech loses its “ability to comprehend bodily experience.” P. Goldberg
  9. The therapist will explain the meaning of her physical countertransference to the patient as a vehicle of comprehending the patient

Course Level: Intermediate

 Click HERE for Continuing Education Credit details.