Being moved: Kinaesthetic reciprocities in psychotherapeutic interaction and the development of enactive intersubjectivity

Rosemarie Samaritter, Helen Payne

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This paper will present an art-based frame of reference to psychotherapeutic intervention.
Structures form clinical Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) will serve as an example to investigate the specific contributions of kinaesthetically informed interactions to (experiential) psychotherapy.
In DMT the working alliance between patient and therapist is informed mainly through non-verbal engagement. The mutual engagement is perceived and regulated in movements and actions by the sensing and expressing body.
The kinaesthetic encounter between patient and therapist will be conceptualised from this somato-sensory perspective as (kin)aesthetic intersubjectivity. Structures from dance as an art form will be described to inform our understanding of the kin(aesth)etic, nonverbal characteristics of interpersonal attunement during psychotherapy. In DMT nonverbal structures of interpersonal attunement are used to create a situation that addresses and supports the patient to engage in corporeal shared, improvised, movement experiences.
We propose that this engagement may contribute to the co-creation and co-regulation of the therapeutic relationship. Kinaesthetic relating may contribute to participatory pre-conceptual sense-making between patient and therapist. Embodied as they are, the experiences of mutual non-verbal relating, social engagement and understanding transfer easily from the therapeutic context ahead into everyday life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Psychotherapy 2016/2017
Subtitle of host publicationEmbodiment in Psychotherapy
EditorsGernot Hauke
ISBN (Electronic) 9783741208973
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2016

Publication series

NameEuropean Psychotherapy


  • Autism
  • movement psychotherapy


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