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Emotional dances Therapeutic dialogues as embodied systems Paolo Bertrando Director, Episteme Centre Turin, Italy.

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Presentation on theme: "Emotional dances Therapeutic dialogues as embodied systems Paolo Bertrando Director, Episteme Centre Turin, Italy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emotional dances Therapeutic dialogues as embodied systems Paolo Bertrando Director, Episteme Centre Turin, Italy

2 Labour is blossoming or dancing where The body is not bruised to please the soul William Butler Yeats, 1927

3 (Keith Haring)

4 The mind/body problem (dualism) is a sharp theoretical divide…

5 …but it’s not a problem for systemic therapy practice.

6 the dualism (Alberto Giacometti)

7 organism with a psychology 4 Here is a remarkable fact. When atoms and molecules are organized in a suitably complicated way, the result is something that perceives, knows, believes, desires, fears, feels pain, and so on—in other words, an organism with a psychology. Alex Byrne, 2006

8 as yet no satisfactory solution 4 … how do [mind and body] interact so as to produce in a person a mind able to have effects on their body (as when the person wills the body to perform some act), whilst also their body can affect their mind (as in the experience of pain)? Although the problem is simple it has as yet no satisfactory solution. John Taylor, 2007

9 the problem (Nam June Paik)

10 4 parallel dualism 4 trascendental idealism 4 reductionist materialism

11 With consciousness 4 Without consciousness, the mind–body problem would be much less interesting. With consciousness it seems hopeless. Thomas Nagel, 1974

12 what exactly is the mind 4 There is also the question of what exactly is the mind? It is certainly composed of conscious components, but it would also seem to contain non-conscious ones [that are] more readily accepted as … components of the body. John Taylor, 2007

13 4 experience 4 description of experience

14 narratives of the body (Man Ray)

15 cannot serve 4 The textuality of the body implies that any account of bodily experience is mediated; it cannot serve, as many modernists suggest, as a source of a primitive “reality”. Tim Armstrong, 1996

16 with the body 4 The body as an object of investigation conflates any ready distinction between a philosophy of experience and a philosophy of knowledge. … We act, as we write, with the body. Bryan Turner, 1992

17 the body text (Alberto Giacometti)

18 comes to act as a “text” 4 It is (usually) the female body which comes to act as a “text”, uttering its meanings in a material way, well known from instances of hysteria, because other channels do not necessarily exist for it. Sue Vice, 1996

19 solid bodies (Botero)

20 4 Between 1880 and 1920, gluttony … would be bound to fatness, fatness to inefficiency, inefficiency to lack of energy and loss of balance, and imbalance to overweight. This knot of relationships would hold as well for housewives as for dancers, and in the home as in the heavens. Hillel Schwartz, 1987

21 body as object (Man Ray)

22 things 4 Bodies become things for moving, possessing, using, enjoying, adjusting, disposing of, bartering with, abusing, ignoring, exploiting, controlling, and so on. This often leads to self-manipulation as well as to the manipulation of others. Vincent Kenny, 1998

23 anorectic bodies (Alberto Giacometti)

24 necessarily parodic 4 Anorexia is necessarily parodic, as it at once exemplifies the feminine stereotype of perfect slimness and repudiates it by making a mockery of it. Marilyn Lawrence, 1989

25 family therapy (David Hockney)

26 O body swayed to music, O brightening glance How can we know the dancer from the dance? William Butler Yeats, 1927

27 rhetoric 4 In family therapy, Yeats’s question is considered rhetoric: we cannot know the dancer from the dance. The person is his dance. Minuchin and Fishman, 1981

28 connect 4 What am I doing? I am accessing the right brain when I ask somebody how they feel and when I help them to connect with parts of their body. Virginia Satir, 1985

29 new dualisms (René Magritte)

30 4 disembodied dialogues 4 mindless bodies

31 disembodied abstract 4 When ideas become radically separated from embodied practices, the sensuous activities of everyday life tend to be subordinated to disembodied abstract differences. John Lannamann, 1998

32 disease of the brain 4 Schizophrenia is a disease of the brain in which various psychopathological processes result in highly variable clinical manifestations. However, despite a century of study, what is wrong in the brain (and where) is not known with exactitude. Robert W. Buchanan et al., 1997

33 4 The issue was not whether a lesion was present, but which of all those reported were significant. John Casanova, 1997

34 none 4 Despite the wide array of histopathological lesions none have thus far [1997] proved diagnostic. John Casanova, 1997

35 major goal 4 The delineation of the neuroanatomy of the symptom complexes of schizophrenia is a major goal of schizophrenia research… Robert W. Buchanan et al., 1997

36 new solutions (Marcel Duchamp)

37 Ludwig Wittgenstein 4 [There is the] temptation to see a profound philosophical problem in a place where there is really none. As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein emphasised, such philosophical mirages are often produced by an apparently inevitable but erroneous picture of the phenomenon under investigation… Alex Byrne, 2006

38 4 I do not know what to do except to make abundantly clear what opinions I hold regarding the supernatural on the one hand and the mechanical on the other. …

39 despise and fear 4 Very simply, let me say that I despise and fear both of these extremes of opinion and that I believe both extremes to be epistemologically naive, epistemologically wrong, and politically dangerous. They are also dangerous to something which we may loosely call mental health. Gregory Bateson, 1967

40 beyond dualism (Man Ray)

41 false division 4 The old compromises between “supernatural” religion and “materialist” science are artefacts of a false division and by-products of the meeting between unsophisticated theology and equally unsophisticated science. Gregory Bateson, 1976

42 person and self (Alexander Calder)

43 interaction of body with world 4 The “person” is not a bounded entity separated off from the world in which he or she exists, but an interaction of body with world, consisting partially of both. David Smails, 1993

44 embodied interactions (Henry Moore)

45 the repository of the repertoire 4 The history of our embodied interactions … generates over time the range of possible actions in which we can viably engage. … The body is the repository of the repertoire of viable anticipations which we can make about ourselves with others. Vincent Kenny, 1998

46 new neuroscience (Alberto Giacometti)

47 actsmere movements acting brain understanding brain 4 … it’s in these acts, as acts rather than mere movements, that our experience of the surrounding environment is embodied, that things get for us an immediate meaning. … the acting brain is also, and first of all, an understanding brain. Giacomo Rizzolatti and Corrado Sinigaglia, 2006

48 doesn’t diminish 4 To discover that a certain feeling depends on the activity of a number of specific brain systems, interacting with a number of body organs doesn’t diminish the status of that feeling. Antonio R. Damasio, 1994

49 embodied dialogues (Marcel Duchamp)

50 Nothing more 4 There is nothing more in the utterance than the utterance; there is nothing more said than what it is said; there is nothing more shown than what is shown. Nothing more. Tom Andersen, 1995

51 difficult and complicated 4 Not all words for just anyone submit equally easy. … Forcing [language] to submit to one’s own intentions and accents, is a difficult and complicated process. Mikhail Bakhtin, 1935

52 concrete 4 Verbal communication can never be understood and explained outside of … a concrete situation. Voloshinov/Bakhtin, 1929

53 body positioning (René Magritte)

54 fullness of his own outward expressedness 4 The person suffering does not experience the fullness of his own outward expressedness in being … He does not see the agonizing tension of his own muscles, does not see the entire, plastically consummated posture of his own body, or the expression of suffering on his own face.

55 the clear blue sky 4 He does not see the clear blue sky against the background of which his suffering outward image is delineated for me. Mikhail Bakhtin, 1923

56 emotions (Alberto Giacometti)

57 most human 4 Blushing is the most peculiar and most human of all expressions. Monkeys redden from passion, but it would require an overwhelming amount of evidence to make us believe that animals could blush. Charles Darwin, 1872

58 thinking what others think of us 4 It is not the simple art of reflecting on our own appearance, but the thinking what others think of us, which excites a blush. In absolute solitude the most sensitive person would be quite indifferent about his appearance. Charles Darwin, 1872

59 emotions involve both mind and body 4 Although the evidence to support the order of events that James postulated is somewhat equivocal, most modern theorists accept that emotions involve both mind and body. Keith Oatley, 2004

60 not know we have these goals 4 Emotion can point to goals and concerns. Sometimes they are clear to us. Sometimes, however, we might not know we have these goals, so the emotions associated with them emerge only slowly. Keith Oatley, 2004

61 hugs (Henry Moore)

62 Shiva Nataraja


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