Sunday, March 24, 2013

Character Types: upturned nose

Body-psychotherapy or somatic psychology can no longer be dismissed. Any person of decent judgment will recognize that the patients he sees have tight and stiffened bodies and faces. He will also recognize that after his own narcissistic injuries or disappointments in love that muscle constrictions have shown up. You're grinding your teeth at night, your legs are tight now when you wake up, your neck is stiff... And any theoretically minded person who has really examined the problem at the heart of Cartesian dualism knows that the body has to play a significant role in our mental life.

In body-psychotherapy all the aggressive and affectionate id impulses (to bite, to suck, to push away, to reach out for, to dismember... etc.) show up in the muscular constrictions that hold them back from expression. A character type isn't identified by his muscular 'armor' being in a certain place because one area can be armored for several different expressions. Rather, it is the way the body grew or failed to grow around the armor during psychosexual development that gives us the indication of character type. In my psychoanalytic work, the non-universal deutero and possible lack of full internalization at the trito stages are eventually going to be paired with the body types already identified in somatic psychology. This is a long term project but I hope to be able to document connections I have made.

Although the nose isn't a 'body type', I'm beginning to have the sense that certain kinds of noses correspond to certain types. I have been able to see that in several of my patients with an 'upturned nose' (as shown in the picture above) demonstrate the anal deutero ego ideal along the feminine- subject altruist and object egoist line of development (i.e. they have increased regard in the transference to god-like figures in society: kings, presidents, geniuses, etc. and increased self-regard to be desirable to these anal fathers in object egoism).

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