Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Intersubjectivity, Developmental psychology, Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapist and patient, Affective neuroscience, Mind and body therapies, Theoretical, Embodies, Intersubjective, Embodied intersubjectivity, The felt sense, Embodied self-awareness, Embodied affect, Mutual recognition, Right brain, Paradigm shift, Relational psychoanalysis, Interpersonal neurobiology, Body psychotherapy


This theoretical thesis traces two paradigmatic shifts currently transforming psychodynamic theory and practice: the shift from a one-person to a two-person psychology and the shift from conscious cognition to unconscious embodied affect. These two shifts support a phenomenological understanding of the clinical encounter as inherently intersubjective and embodied. The concept of embodied intersubjectivity is explored by weaving together relevant literature from the fields of relational psychoanalysis, interpersonal neurobiology, contemporary developmental psychology, and body psychotherapy. The view is offered that, for some clients more than others, developing a deeper connection with one's embodied sense of self, and having that experience recognized in a somatic third space by another embodied subject, is one factor that may contribute to client change. By resonating in a state of embodied recognition both client and therapist come into contact with a felt sense of true self-experience.




iii, 93 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 83-93)