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BodyDreaming in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma
An Embodied Therapeutic Approach
by Marian Dunlea

Published June 2019: 234×156: 320pp (1st Edition)

Marian Dunlea’s BodyDreaming in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: An Embodied Therapeutic Approach provides a theoretical and practical guide for working with early developmental trauma. This interdisciplinary approach explores the interconnection of body, mind and psyche, offering a masterful tool for restoring balance and healing developmental trauma.

Bodydreaming™ is a somatically-focused therapeutic method, drawing on the findings of neuroscience, analytical psychology, attachment theory and trauma therapy.
In Part One, Dunlea defines Bodydreaming™ and its origins, placing it in the context of a dysregulated contemporary world.
Part Two explains how the brain works in relation to the Bodydreaming™ approach: providing an accessible outline of neuroscientific theory, structures and neuroanatomy in attunement, affect regulation, attachment patterns, transference and countertransference, and the resolution of trauma throughout the body.
In Part Three, through detailed transcripts from sessions with clients, Dunlea demonstrates the positive impact of Bodydreaming™ on attachment patterns and developmental trauma. This somatic approach complements and enhances psychobiological, developmental, and psychoanalytic interventions. Bodydreaming™ restores balance to a dysregulated psyche and nervous system that activates our innate capacity for healing, changing our default response of ‘fight, flight or freeze’ and creating new neural pathways. Dunlea’s emphasis on attunement to build a restorative relationship with the sensing body creates a core sense of self, providing a secure base for healing developmental trauma.

Innovative and practical, and with a foreword by Donald Kalsched, BodyDreaming in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: An Embodied Therapeutic Approach will be essential reading for psychotherapists, analytical psychologists and therapists with a Jungian background, arts therapists, dance and movement therapists, and body workers interested in learning how to work with both body and psyche in their practices.

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Bodydreaming™, a new and unique approach, arrives as a breath of fresh air. It provides us not only with a new way to think about our work theoretically, but with new practical ways of perceiving and attending to how our patients experience our interventions in the body. It represents a creative synthesis of new findings in the fields of affective neuroscience, attachment theory, infant observation, and body-sensitive approaches to therapy, as they apply to somatically informed psychotherapeutic work with trauma, dissociation, and dreams” –Donald Kalsched

Bodydreaming™ brings together the analytic legacy of Carl Jung with developments in the fields of Body Oriented Psychotherapy. It shows that we remain, elusively, disconnected from our dreams (and inner images), until we can embody them through interoceptive awareness. This transformative process, catalyzed through connection to the Living, Sensing, Knowing Body, bridges the dream world to here-and-now experience. In this way, we nourish the deep Self, the True Self, and our connection to inner aliveness and vitality. I believe that this book contributes to a rich dialogue between analytic and experiential therapies; a dialogue that will certainly enhance both.” – Peter A. Levine, author of Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma and In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

“We live at a time when body and psyche are both in a traumatized state; where we are not in a relationship with nature, soul or body but dissociated from all three. The great imperative of our time is reconnection and, through this mysterious inner alchemical process, moving to a more developed, evolved and individuated state of consciousness. Profoundly steeped in Jung’s approach to the psyche as well as other methodologies – particularly the work of Marion Woodman and Donald Kalsched – this inspiring book shows us how great a transformation can be wrought through the medium of Bodydreaming™, approaching the client with the utmost reverence, gentleness and awareness of the fragility of psychic processes as well as the relationship between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Using the metaphor of the light of the rising sun at the Winter Solstice touching the far end of the narrow passage at Newgrange temple in Ireland, Marian shows us how, through reconnection with our heart and the dawning of insight, we can become illumined, healed and restored to wholeness.” – Anne Baring, Ph.D., author of The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul

“In this highly readable book Marian Dunlea shows us the seamless constant unconscious. conversation between the body and the mind. Every thought we think is companioned by a physical response. “When you do not know what matters most to you that, then, can become the matter with you.” It is essential to understand that trauma becomes an emotional pattern and/or a symptom that can unconsciously govern your life perspective and your self esteem. The talking cure alone does not free the body responses that affect emotional responses.
The body can not and doesn’t lie. Ms Dunlea offers both the practitioner and the participant the vital keys to unlocking this deeply healing truth.” – Paula M. Reeves, Ph.D., author of Women’s Intuition: Unlocking the Wisdom of the Body and Heart Sense: Unlocking Your Highest Purpose and Deepest Desires


Foreword by Donald Kalsched
Credits and Permissions
Part One: Setting the Scene
A Note to the Reader: How This Book Works
Introducing BodyDreaming
Why This Book Now: The Origins of BodyDreaming
Invitation to the Reader to Engage Experientially with the Text
The Black Pearl
Part Two: Neuroscientific Background
Chapter One: How the Brain Works : A Brief Outline of Neuroscientific Theory
Part Three: BodyDreaming in Clinical Practice
Chapter Two: Orienting, Regulating, Resourcing: “I may be able to find some peace here”
Chapter Three: Working the Threshold: “Slowly, slowly . . .”
Chapter Four: Attunement: Learned Secure Attachment in the Body: “I’m yielding to it”
Chapter Five: Working with Dissociative and Disoriented Attachment Patterns (1): “The child fell off the chair”
Chapter Six: Working with Dissociative and Disoriented Attachment Patterns (2): “It’s all about trusting your gut”
Chapter Seven: Working with Numbness, Shut-down, Freeze: “Bushes Don’t Have Panic Attacks”
Chapter Eight: The Matter of Self-Regulation: “The Sun is coming out of her face”
Chapter Nine: Intimations of the Numinous: “It feels like a visitation from the lady in red in here”
Conclusion: “Let your hands touch something that makes your eyes smile”
Bibliography; Index


Marian Dunlea is a Jungian analyst and head of training in BodySoul Europe, part of the Marion Woodman Foundation. She is a Somatic Experiencing Trauma therapist based in the west of Ireland and is the creator of Bodydreaming™.



Marian, in New York, receiving the 2019 Gradiva award resented by the World Organisation and Pubic Education Corporation of the National Association for Psychoanalysis for the her book BodyDreaming in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma an Embodied Therapeutic Approach.

I am delighted to let you know that my book BodyDreaming in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: An Embodied Therapeutic Approach has won the 2019 Gradiva Award, NAAP (the World Organization and Public Education Corporation of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis).

Each year, NAAP acknowledges the literary and artistic achievements of those who have created works that represent and promote psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.
There were 50 entrants and 6 finalists in the Best Book category.

I am very happy that BodyDreaming, an approach which integrates somatic, Jungian and psychoanalytic theory and practice has won this prestigious award.

National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis


A Conversation with Marian Dunlea


(This interview appeared in the recent special issue of IACAT Journal, 6.1, May 2019, on “Conversations, Creations, Communications”)

BodyDreaming in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: A Conversation with Marian Dunlea
By Bernadette Divilly




BodyDreaming Workshop – Bungalore, India

BodyDreaming Workshop – 1st & 2nd April 2019


jung2017wrkshp [at] gmail [dot] com




December 1st 2018

Bangalore Society of Analytical Psychology, Malleswaram, Bangalore – India

Bangalore BodyDreaming Workshop


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