How can bodily manifestations in psychopathology be conceived of as modes of speaking and how can a patient manifesting bodily symptoms be listened to and responded to? We consider these questions in the framework both of phenomenology and psychoanalysis. On the one hand, a phenomenological approach helps considering the body as expressive; however, expression ought to be differentiated from communication to better capture the phenomenon of body language. On the other hand, a psychoanalytic approach helps considering the clinical strength of an encounter where the only vehicle is the speech one addresses another; however, this should not occur at the expense of bodily manifestations, which are expressive and can be communicative. We propose that a symptom can be listened to from a responsive stance, where the clinician responds to the patient’s bodily manifestation, as to a demand to be recognized as a subject of communication.


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pp. 53-67
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