21 Slices
Medium 9781855753556

CHAPTER SIX: Movement and communication: the baby massage experience

Antonella Sansone Karnac Books ePub

Mother-baby interactions do not occur in a chain-like
sequence;
the behaviour of each triggers several others.
The effects of an interaction
are more like those of a stone dropped into water,
causing a multitude of increasing rings,
than a chain where each link leads to only one other.

Ibelieve that there has been inadequate study of emotional bodily dynamics, or the way in which emotions “move”. It seems no coincidence that the word “emotion” derives from “motion” or “movement”. Human communication consists of both sound and movement. The five methods of sensory communication—sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste—comprise a sixth paramount aspect: movement and gesture. While a person is speaking, several parts of the body move in ways that can be either evident or fairly imperceptible; in the same way, the listener’s movements can be co-ordinated with the speaker’s speech rhythm and her bodily movements. When two people talking to each other are filmed, micro-analysis reveals that both are moving in tune to the words being spoken, thus creating a type of dance in rhythm with the speech patterns. This phenomenon can appear quite clearly in the rhythmic conversation between mother and baby (proto-conversation). The mother’s voice is already familiar to her newborn—after all, she has had nine months to get used to it in her womb!

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855753556

CHAPTER NINE: The baby’s cry

Antonella Sansone Karnac Books ePub

When a baby draws a dog with five legs
We would do better not to intervene to correct the number
of legs;
We can wonder whether the child is drawing a dog in
motion,
perhaps very fast.
Doing so, we can understand what she is communicating.

A three-year-old child draws a human being
with an enormous chest and arms and small legs.
I ask him who it is.
He says that it’s Mum when hugging him.
He painted his stored sensations of being held by a loving
mother.
If I had corrected the disproportion
I would have missed the richness of his communication.

Acrying baby may have effects on the parents’ bodyself perception and on their entire view of the world and other people. People often say that they feel hurt or angry when their baby is crying. Getting in touch with their own needs, feelings, and inner resources is an important path to discovering effective ways of handling their baby and meeting her needs. By opening the sensory channels, the caregivers enhance their perception and understanding of the baby’s cues and hence the communication, resulting in less crying.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855753556

CHAPTER THREE: Skin contact in primary relationships

Antonella Sansone Karnac Books ePub

For the young baby, moving into the unknown world
is possible only when there is a secure matrix
to which the infant can immediately return at any moment.

One of the baby’s most primitive and fundamental needs is to find a containing caregiver to be held by. Bick’s hypothesis (1968) was that, in the very young baby, the parts of her personality as well as her body have no interconnecting binding force. Due to this fragile psychic skin, which functions as a container of the parts of the self, the baby fears spilling out in a state of non-integration. She therefore depends on an object (the mother or the breast) that contains her fears. The sense of being held gives the baby security and establishes the foundations of her self-confidence. The baby is born with integrative competence, but needs an intuitive caregiver to attune and resonate with her psychophysiological states to maintain an integrated self (Papousek … Papousek, 1987). The infant acquires understanding of the world through communication and collaboration with sensitive primary figures.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855754386

CHAPTER 3: The “bodyself” in early relationship

Antonella Sansone Karnac Books ePub

Research and clinical literature has paid very little attention to how a woman's bodyself may impinge on her parental skills and on the quality of her interaction with her baby which is what gave me the idea to write my frst book Mothers, Babies, and their Body Language (Sansone, 2004) and this chapter. In my frst book, the relation between the woman's bodyself and her parenting abilities is extensively considered for the frst time. Consideration is also given to how the mother's attitude to her bodyself can affect the development of the infant's bodyself. To nurture an integrated bodyself image and grow in self-confdence, a child needs a mother who values herself and has a fulflled relationship with her body and self. A sense of guilt, hatred of life, or fear sends signals about self-esteem and about the importance of motherhood. Parents teach their child assertiveness and self-trust through their confdent posture and frm way of holding, as their attitudes and feelings constantly take shape through their muscular tension and body language.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855754386

CHAPTER 1: A historical examination of the psyche-soma

Antonella Sansone Karnac Books ePub

In this Chapter I explore some theoretical gaps and imbalances in the psychoanalysis of the psyche-soma. The philosophy of dualism owes much to Christian theology. Descartes (1644) regarded mind and body as two separate entities, composed of different substances and governed by different laws. He deemed that the body being a material object, could be explored via scientifc investigation but that the mind could only be investigated via introspection. Since then, Western philosophers have struggled with the mind /body dilemma for over 300 years. This has profoundly affected the evolution of thinking in the feld of psychoanalysis about the psyche-soma.

Psychoanalysis has been involved with the psyche-soma from the very beginning, when Freud began to treat patients with the physical symptoms of conversion hysteria via a “talking cure” (Freud and Breuer, 1893). For Freud a diffcult task for the individual resided in controlling physically-based sexual drives seeking immediate gratifcation, and adapting them to the “reality principle” of social expectations (1911b). Although Freud described the ego as a “body ego’, he substantially deemed mental and bodily functions to be opposed rather than complementary.

See All Chapters

See All Slices