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Dissertation

A Gestalt conceptualization and Reichian influenced treatment approach for alexithymia

9 December 2005

Abstract

Alexithymia, the inability to recognize or name emotions, has been correlated with numerous physical conditions and psychological disorders. This dissertation describes the various conceptualizations of the etiology and maintaining factors that have been proposed, including Energetic, Psychodynamic, Socialization, Neurological, and Cognitive Developmental theories. Next, the basic tenets of Gestalt Therapy theory and a Gestalt conceptualization of Alexithymia is described and a treatment focused on the body is proposed. A review of the literature relevant to working with the body in psychotherapy and an in-depth review of Reichian theory are provided. Finally, the integration of Gestalt and Reichian approaches for the treatment of Alexithymia is proposed and treatment implications are discussed.


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