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“Sentire”: Exploring the suitability of movement and sound in couple therapy


Stahl,  Benjamin
Department of Neurology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany;
Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Musicology and Media Science, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;

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Stahl, B., Lussana, M., Rizzonelli, M., Staudt, P., Milek, A., & Kim, J. H. (2021). “Sentire”: Exploring the suitability of movement and sound in couple therapy. Talk presented at British Association for Music Therapy Conference. London, United Kingdom. 2021-04-09 - 2021-04-11.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-888F-E
According to early 20th century psychoanalysis, the “unsaid” becomes apparent in the relationship between patient and therapist, as well as in metaphors and symbols revealed through unintended utterances, imaginative techniques, and dreams. To convey emotions and thoughts, this method relies on the use of spoken language. Likewise, spoken language remains central to the practice of psychotherapy in subsequent decades, as clinicians and researchers sought to translate and transform major claims of psychoanalysis into newer paradigms, the most prominent of them being cognitive-behavioral, client-centered and family systems psychotherapy. Inspired by somatic psychology and neuroscience evidence, more recent approaches focus on body and movement to target the “unsaid” beyond spoken language. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the “Sentire” system uses sound to provide immediate feedback for physical distance and touch between individuals (www.sentire.me). Exploring the adequacy of “Sentire” as a potential means to complement existing methods in psychotherapy, questions of an ongoing proof-of-concept study include: How can movement and sound expose the “unsaid” without the use of spoken language? How can “Sentire” uncover the intricacies of social interaction in a meaningful way to identify unmet needs in couple relationships? And how can interaction between body movement and sound effectively add to previous clinical research in this field? The present talk addresses both the technological foundations of “Sentire” and its potential value in clinical practice.