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"Body and act” approach

Coordinators :
Pr N. Dumet, M. Ravit (Lecturers/Thesis supervisors)

Research approach “Body and act” aims to develop specific investigation studies on psychic goals of clinical and psychopathological expressions. Registers of body and act are massively implied in this approach.

These clinical practices show indeed early affective and relational exchanges carrying the articulation psyche/soma. Therefore, they cross major stakes of psychopathology and even modern psychopathology. They even constitute some of its particularly loud and extreme forms of unease, internal confusion as well as individual, relational, familial and socio cultural suffering.

The expressive power of transition through the body or through the act declines through complexity, whether from somatic conversions (ranging from the most significant forms, in which the affect merges with the most archaic forms of somatic encystment underpinned by destructive affect, as much as by deadlocks and holes in the psychoaffective activity) or from behavioral acting (ranging from the most significant forms to massive discharges of urges). “Acting bodies” (P. Roman, N. Dumet, 2009) attempts to catch what is limited, lost, impossible or unthinkable via psychic and verbal symbolization processes in the patient and in his/her relation to the environment.

One of the main bases of the approach “Body and act” is to federate and gather all CRPCC works around questions formulated by the psychopathology of identity and narcissistic disorders living in a “body-somatic home” of the symptom and/or an externalization in the psychic activity behavior such as subjective livings below psychic (and also pre psychic and non psychic livings) as they can show up in the most violent actings (self destructive and hetero destructive).

Within this approach, various processes of these types of suffering need to be extracted because they are most often unspoken and not recognized as such by the subject and sometimes by the Socius; and because they escape in fine to any significant dimension incorporated in a subjective and intersubjective logic. The main goal of these works and investigation perspectives consists in suggesting conceptual new models or a conceptual reshaping of theories existing and limited until then according to the diversity and complexity of modern clinical practices of the body and act. In this hypothetic perspective, we must consider and extract how the affected, attacked, ill body and/or act are place and/or action coming from the place of a subjective living... In the continuity, and from these new perspectives aiming to understand better the modalities of corporal (and) acting expressions, a second goal of the investigation is to plan the supportive care and attention adapted to the patients according to their age mobilizing the different processes of thinking, emotional expression and regulation of urges.

Investigation will specifically focus on:

1/ Clinical practice of the ill, affected, infected body (including psychosomatic disorders, painful events, serious somatoform disorders and progressive diseases of lethal nature and also vicissitude and degeneration connected to situations of insecurity/instability, carelessness and physical or environmental traumas).

2/ Behavior disorders excluding self preservation of the patient (sleep disorders, food disorders, from modern orthorexia to serious forms of anorexia, binge eating and hyperphagia, addictions, scarifications and self mutilations.

3/ Violent acting behaviors and destructive of others (sexual violences, criminality, infanticide, etc.)

4/ Connections and pathways, alternative but also exclusive between the different clinical practices of the acting bodies, reshaping every different modalities of urges regulation and individual affective as much as relational.

5/ Somatic expression, from both the healer and the patient happening in therapeutic encounter and transference and counter transference processes.

6/ Body role and sensory-motor mobilization in creation activities and artistic mediation.

7/ Individual or multiple care approaches (psychodrama, picture language, corporal mediations, therapeutic mediations, games…) organized around the acted expression and the body potentialities of expression.

Updated April 28, 2016


Directrice: Magali RAVIT,
Coordinatrice de recherche: Eliane GASTALDO,
Gestionnaire financier: Farida MARTINEZ,
Université Lumière Lyon 2