Embodiment : Creative Imagination in Medicine, Art and Travel book cover
1st Edition

Creative Imagination in Medicine, Art and Travel

ISBN 9780415404341
Published May 25, 2007 by Routledge
152 Pages

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Book Description

Did you know that intentional dreaming has been used to solve life's problems?

Embodiment: Creative Imagination in Medicine, Art and Travel sets out Robert Bosnak's practice of embodied imagination and demonstrates how he actually works with dreams and memories in groups. The book discusses various approaches to dreams, body and imagination, and combines this with a Jungian, neurobiological, relational and cultural analysis. The author's fascination with dreams, the most absolute form of embodied imagination, has caused him to travel all over the world. From his research he concludes that while dreaming everyone everywhere experiences dreams as embodied events in time and space while the dreamer is convinced of being awake; it is after waking into our specific cultural stories about dreaming that the widely differing attitudes towards dreams arise. By taking dreaming reality, not our waking interpretation of it, as the model for imagination, this book creates a paradigm shock and produces methods which can be applied in a wide variety of cultural settings.

Through detailed case studies, professionals and students will find thorough discussions of:

  • ways to flashback into dreams and memories while in a hypnagogic state of consciousness
  • the practice of embodied imagination and its profound physical effects
  • psyche as a self-organizing multiplicity of selves
  • the nature of subjectivity
  • the body as a theatre of sense memories
  • the limitation of reason
  • the process of dissociation
  • the treatment of trauma

This book discusses a variety of techniques which may be applied by health professionals to their patients and clients. It will also be of particular interest to Jungian and relational psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and clinical psychologists, as well as to artists, actors, directors, writers and other individuals who wish to explore the creative imagination.

Table of Contents

Bosnak, Prelude. Into the Cave. A Radical Change of Perspective. The Embodying Image. A Display of Method. The Dreaming Brain and Simultaneous Multiplicity in Space. Metabolizing Trauma. The Endogenous Healing Response. Surrender and Dissociation. Kinds of Imagination. Primal Matter and Tincture, the Coloring Agent. Incubation, Art, and Dreaming by Proxy. The Embodied Condition. A Practical Guide to Technique.

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Robert Bosnak is a Dutch Jungian Psychoanalyst who, after having been in private psychotherapy practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts for 25 years, currently lives and works in Sydney, Australia.


"Late at night, when everyone is quiet, sit alone with Robert Bosnak's astonishing book, Embodiment, and allow him to accompany you on an exciting journey that is at once physical, spiritual, psychological, and astonishingly compatible with current data from neuroscience and cognitive science. As a working psychoanalyst, I have found this to be so transformational to my work that I can never again say 'It's only a dream'." - Philip M. Bromberg, Training and Supervising Analyst, William Alanson White Institute; Clinical Professor of Psychology, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, USA

"I am convinced we should press forward with this lovely, simple, effective discipline which has proven itself with such remarkable results in our Company." - Michael Boyd, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

"Drawing on Henry Corbin's Imaginal Realm, as well as on medieval alchemy, scientific complexity theory, East Asian philosophy, postcolonial critique, and above all on three decades intensive work with dreams, Embodiment reveals how humans can relate to the multiple beings alive in each of us. Original and fascinating." - Kimberley C. Patton, Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion, Harvard Divinity School, USA