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Mutilation and the power of shame as the “guardian of dignity”

  • Author: Maria Fernanda de Andrade Lima
  • Date - Year (yyyy): 2018
  • Language(s): English, Portuguese

by : Maria Fernanda de Andrade Lima


This paper intends to broaden the subject of shame with a view to including and developing the theory and practice of Bioenergetic Analysis from the foundations laid out by Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen, pioneers of body therapy. “We don’t have a body”, we are a systemic body. This paper will draw from the views of Chilean neuroscientist, Humberto Maturana, within the fields of Biology of Cognition and Biology of Love, as well as from Polish philosopher and sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, a great modern thinker on the frailty of bonds. I will add some recent Bio-energetic Analysis articles from the journal of Bioenergetic Analysis pub-lished in the period of 2011-2017. I understand shame as sensations that might develop from childhood and take hold of our true self, mutilating spontaneity and freedom, deeply impacting on our sense of dignity. How-ever, I also see it as a multigenerational inheritance passed on in the form of beliefs and values that strongly interfere with bonding. As I see it, Bio-energetic Analysis in the field of family therapy can restore generational wounds in face of contemporary challenges.

Keywords: self, body, bioenergetic analysis, systems therapy, transgenerationality

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