Publication details [#55908]

Eberhard-Kaechele, Marianne. 2012. Memory, metaphor, and mirroring in movement therapy with trauma patients. In Muller, Cornelia, Sabine C. Koch, Thomas Fuchs and Michela Summa, eds. Body Memory, Metaphor and Movement. (Advances in Consciousness Research 84). John Benjamins. pp. 267–287.
Publication type
Article in book
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins


This paper defines trauma and describes some of its long term consequences, in particular traumatic body memory. A model of the formation of traumatic body memory is used as a reference to discuss the potential of dance/movement therapy to address this phenomenon. After a brief reflection on ground rules for trauma-focused therapy, four interrelated approaches in dance/movement therapy with trauma patients are considered. These include (1) the psycho-educational retraining of trauma-based action patterns, (2) the modulation of arousal through the deconstruction of affects, (3) the transformation of the subjective meaning of traumatic experience through experiential movement metaphors, and (4) the development of affect regulation and reflective distance to traumatic memory through interpersonal mirroring.