Somatic mirroring: psychotherapeutic treatment of mental states without representation

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Debate


Disturbances during the pre-verbal period of infancy, or traumatic situations that impact psychic organisation, may produce perforated areas in the psyche, archaic areas that are not represented or that have negligible representation. In this article, I would like to propose a therapeutic technique based on a combination of the principles of psychoanalysis and dance/movement therapy for the treatment of those specific psychic areas. My assumption is that although these areas are without representation–lacking definition or description, if their origins are in the soma, then they possess the beginnings of ‘body figurability’, i.e. rhythm, space and intensity of experience that is intrinsic to the body. The article examines the effect motoric activity has on unlocking the knowledge inherent in the body and the contribution of the ‘somatic mirroring’ technique to representation of the somatic experience in the psyche. This will be demonstrated through a therapy vignette from the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-16
Number of pages13
JournalBody, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Mirroring
  • dance movement therapy
  • eating disorder
  • figurability
  • unrepresented states

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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