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Embodiment

Theoretically, the concept of body as a description for the organic system which is enclosed by skin, is to be strictly separated from the concept of embodiment. This is a description for the body as ‘perceived’ by the psyche, which is a phenomenon ‘in’ the psyche. With regard to the theory of change, therefore, this is of relevance, because one’s attitude and position to one’s embodiment can change, even when the body remains the same, and vice versa. For example, someone may still find themselves physically fat, although they have lost a lot of weight, or they find their body ok (after counselling) although they have not changed their weight.

The perceived embodiment always expresses itself physically, too. This is the theoretical reason for the fact that the client’s embodied state can suddenly change after a productive sequence of counselling sessions and that this manifests itself in body language and in atmosphere. Embodied experience is the condition for achieving a concise and, therefore, change effective self-expression. One has a body, one experiences one’s embodiment. These are not only semantic differences. Rather, such differentiations help the counsellor to direct his attention towards how embodied phenomena arise in the self-experience of the client. In this way one will discover how frequently people only have a very limited embodied connection to their body.



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