In 1985 Stanley Keleman wrote Emotional Anatomy: The Structure of Experience (published by Center Press, Berkeley) that proved to be a seminal text in the worlds of somatic therapies and his own therapeutic approach, Formative Psychology. A perspective that sees our lives as embodied formative processes, voluntarily self-influencing our patterns of action. Stanley conceptualizes our human experience as embodied and grounded in our anatomy—from the simple structure of cells to the shape and movement of our entire body.
Now, some 30 years since the publication of Emotional Anatomy, Stanley has added a DVD of moving images from Emotional Anatomy, to bring the internal dynamics of the body to life and make the theory more experientially available. The new DVD follows the core of the book, while including more recent principles of Formative Psychology.
Stanley says that people do not always think of the body as the source of our psychology, emotions, and even values. He goes onto say that “The body is the source and an orientation for what an embodied life is like. Philosopher, dancer, painter, psychologist, body worker, it’s all about how voluntary acts can influence their life and their way of experiencing themselves and the world.”
In the DVD you will see Stanley has used the image of the jellyfish to represent the universal pulsations of all life. “Living is a pulsatory event. Any behaviour has cycles of activity and cycles of less activity, times for extending and times for gathering back,” Stanley said. “Every muscular act, every loving act, every cognitive act. Any interaction, form mom-to-child to woman-to-man, the activity is there and subject to lesser or greater amounts of voluntary differentiated influence.” Stanley goes on to contend that “The main interest of the organism is not sexuality, nor relationships—it is interested in maintaining its animate form over a long period of time that allows for personalized sexuality and relationships. The driving force for animate life is to extend the life process, and to do so, structure is essential. For structure to maintain animate life, it must remember its motoric experiences so they can be repeated. The body organizes itself with excitatory tension and muscular pressure. This tension/pressure can expand and contract. It can maintain an inside and outside surface. It is elastic, permeable—it lets some things through, not others. When it is full, it says so; when it wants more, it says so. The body is able to contract and expand according to its needs and its pulastory patterns.”
Psychologists, counselors, and psychotherapists with an appreciation for somatic awareness (both for themselves and their clients) and the indivisible role the body plays in mental health, will find this DVD an interesting and educational addition to their library—especially as a companion to the original book Emotional Anatomy.
For more information please go to http://centerpress.com/publications.html
To purchase fill out the details on the form here: “Emotional Anatomy” 60 minute DVD (2014) $40.00
In this DVD Stanley Keleman presents an animated update to his seminal book Emotional Anatomy which after 30 years continues to be a foundational text in the field of body oriented psychology and body based therapeutic methods. In his unique style, Keleman has created a kinetic visualization of the story of our life as a pulsatory process. By gathering images and – in an original way – giving them motion, he illustrates behaviors of the human organism that do not yet have a common cultural language. His biologically based Formative Psychology and its language seek to give a foundation for understanding a next step in the evolution of human development which is the voluntary shaping of our lives.
This update presents the human being as a pulsatory continuum of biological shapes and emotional behaviors which, through the interaction of voluntary and involuntary anatomical processes, organize our body shapes, and illustrates how body shape, in turn, profoundly influences our emotions, feelings and actions.The video is not only an educational experience that includes recent developments in Keleman’s thinking, it is also a statement of a body philosophy and a credo for living. As a pioneer in the field of Somatics, Keleman is posing the question, as well as, offering a practical method for answering: “How do I want to organize an embodied life and form my future?”
Emotional Anatomy is a pioneering accomplishment, conceptually and practically, to make visible the pulsatory and formative process of behavior, including thinking and feeling. For those who know Keleman’s work it is a tool to deepen one’s understanding of personal experience. For those who are new to his teachings the video can be a creative start to a different learning experience. It contains many elements of art, for instance, the overlaying of image upon image in combination with an original music score create an intense rhythm and pulse that is intended to convey a felt gestalt of our own body and of the morphology of our anatomy. The viewer will almost certainly be stunned by the power of the pictures in combination with the music. For more understanding of the clinical background of the video, the accompanying study of Stanley Keleman’s books Emotional Anatomy and Embodying Experience is recommended.