Sabine Koch

University of Heidelberg

Affective intentions and reciprocity in movement
Early caregiver-infant interaction through the lens of the Kestenberg Movement Profile

Abstract: Affective intentions (of the preverbal infant) are conveyed through patterns of tension and relaxation in the body (tension-flow) that go together with shape changes (shape-flow). Rhythms of tension-flow and shape flow are the earliest movement pattern in life and can already be observed in utero. They structure and organize the infant’s body and they are kept up until the end of life. Tension-flow rhythms convey needs to self (impression) and caregiver (expression). Shape-flow conveys positive affect towards self, general environment and distinct external stimuli. These movement patterns are understood by kinaesthetic empathy and resonance in the caregiver’s body and voice (using exteroception and proprioception both at a time). Affective intentions can be measured via the structured use of kinaesthetic empathy as a method of the Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP). This chapter will provide an overview of how the questions of the ESF-workshop can be approached through the lens of the KMP.

Keywords: movement rhythms, affect, tension, kinaesthesia, bidirectionality of affect and movement, Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP).

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