May 24-25, 1991: Joan Chodorow

Lecture:  Body, Psyche, and the Emotions

“On the one hand, emotion is the chemical fire whose warmth brings everything into existence and whose heat burns all superfluities to ashes…But on the other hand, emotion is the moment when steel meets flint and a spark is struck forth, for emotion is the chief source of consciousness. There is no change from darkness to light or from inertia to movement without emotion.”

C.G. Jung


For Jung, the emotions are the foundations of the psyche. The highest aspirations of the human spirit have evolved and are developed from them. An emotion is at once somatic (bodily innervations, expressive physical action) and psychic (images and ideas). Active imagination, Jung’s analytical method of psychotherapy, is intricately interwoven with the expression and transformation of the emotions. 

A differentiated understanding of the emotions is of great value to both analyst and analysand. We can train ourselves to recognize the fundamental emotions. One of the most useful approaches is through the study of the prototypical expressive actions. Darwin was the first to differentiate between the fundamental emotions, the complex emotions, and the symbolic cultural gestures. This lecture will take up the fudnamental emotions, with particular attention to universal patterns of expressive behavior. This material is drawn from experiences in dance, dance therapy, and analysis, as well as the contributions of Darwin, Jung, Henderson, Tomkins, and Stewart. 

Workshop: The Moving Imagination

‘I move,’ is the clear knowledge that I personally, am moving. The opposite of this is the sudden and astonishing moment when ‘I am moved.’ It is a moment when the ego gives up control, stops exerting demands, allowing the Self to take over moving the physical body as it will. It is a moment of unpremeditated surrender that cannot be explained, replicated exactly, sought for or tried out. 

Mary Starks Whitehouse


This one day workshop will introduce an approach to movement that was originally developed by Mary Whitehouse. Sometimes called “authentic movement” or “movement in depth,” it involved a mover, a witness, and their relationship. We’ll take up the development of this work an its use as a form of active imagination. Building on material presented Friday evening, we’ll focus on the ongoing, interwoven relationship of body, psyche, and emotions. Morning and afternoon sessions will include lecture, movement experience and discussion. Participants are invited to bring journals and/or art materials. Enrollment will be limited. 


Joan Chodorow, Ph.D. is an analyst member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, in private practice. Her early backgroud inlcudes dance studies and performing and teaching; dance therapy training was with Trudi Schoop and Mary Whitehouse; she is a registered member (ADTR) and former president of the American Dance Therapy Association. She is the author of Dance Therapy and Depth Psychology-The Moving Imagination (Routledge 1991)


Body, Psyche, and the Emotions