Patrizia Pallaro, Vincenzo Bonaminio, and Janine Wanlass
Analysis emerged from Freud’s study of the body as he worked with women’s neurological symptomatic expressions of emotional conflict and reaction to societal attitudes about them. Alessandra Lemma has brought the body back into psychoanalysis in her study of the prepubertal body. Winnicott wrote of the importance of the integration of mind and body and thought of psychopathology as a rupture between them. IPI’s distinguished guest speaker Vincenzo Bonaminio shifts the focus to the body of the analyst and its impact on the analytic work as his stomach rumbles, as he shifts to achieve a better listening or observing position or to ease a discomfort, as he and the patient pass on the way into or out of the waiting room, or inadvertently touch.
In the countertransference he described a memory and a dream of losing and reviving his daughter that he later discovered was in resonance with his patient’s trauma history and dream of infusing life into the body of a parent’s lost child. An analyst may respond impulsively to a patient’s physical presence with a care-taking action. This type of physical action is an enactment that avoids thought and feeling and yet, as Winnicott said, can provide a clue that leads right to the patient’s earliest maternal environmental failure.
From Jill Scharff