The body, of both the patient and the analyst, is increasingly a focus of attention in contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice, especially from a relational perspective. There is a renewed regard for the understanding of embodied experience and sexuality as essential to human vitality. However, most of the existing literature has been written by analysts with no formal training in body-centered work. In this book William Cornell draws on his experience as a body-centered psychotherapist to offer an informed blend of the two traditions, to allow psychoanalysts a deep understanding, in psychoanalytic language, of how to work with the body as an ally.
The primary focus of Somatic Experience in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy situates systematic attention to somatic experience and direct body-level intervention in the practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. It provides a close reading of the work of Wilhelm Reich, repositioning his work within a contemporary psychoanalytic frame and re-presents Winnicott’s work with a particular emphasis on the somatic foundations of his theories. William Cornell includes vivid and detailed case vignettes including accounts of his own bodily experience to fully illustrate a range of somatic attention and intervention that include verbal description of sensate experience, exploratory movement and direct physical contact.
Drawing on relevant theory and significant clinical material, Somatic Experience in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy will allow psychoanalysts an understanding of how to work with the body in their clinical practice. It will bring a fresh perspective on psychoanalytic thinking to body-centred psychotherapy where somatic experience is seen as an ally to psychic and interpersonal growth. This book will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychodynamically oriented psychotherapists, transactional analysts, body-centred psychotherapists, Gestalt therapists, counsellors and students.
William Cornell maintains an independent private practice of psychotherapy and consultation in Pittsburgh, PA. He has devoted 40 years to the study and integration of psychoanalysis, neo-Reichian body therapy and transactional analysis. He is a Training and Supervising Transactional Analyst and has established an international reputation for his teaching and consultation.