Knowing Through Movement and Kinesthetic Resonance

March 5, 2023 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
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Helena KallnerPresenter: Helena Kallner


Working as a psychotherapist requires the ability to judge how to act in relation to the uniqueness of each situation. How do we do this? In Gestalt therapy theory, we refer to this knowing as the aesthetic criterion, that which is felt and sensed in the unfolding dynamic of the therapeutic encounter. Sometimes this knowing is referred to as tacit knowing, or silent knowing – silent because it can be challenging, if even possible to fully verbalize. But sometimes silent as in silenced. Often this aspect of knowing is referred to as mere feelings, vague or mysterious and not as a core element of professional judgment that requires extensive practice, experience, and a theoretical foundation.

This experiential presentation will explore movement and kinesthetic resonance as an essential foundation of knowing. We will inquire into that which we know before we know it, and attend to how always-emerging body-to-body dynamics between therapists and clients inform therapeutic interventions. I will base this presentation on my PhD research, exploring a psychotherapist’s practical knowledge of working with movement in psychotherapy.


Helena Kallner, MA, MSc, UKCP registered psychotherapist, practices Gestalt psychotherapy in Stockholm. She is a senior teacher and supervisor of Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy™. She is currently a PhD student at Metanoia Institute/Middlesex University.