Psychotherapy Australia Journal
August 2008 Vol 14 Num 4
Alexithymia: an imaginative approach
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Alexithymia is the inability to identify and describe one's own or others' emotional states and is thought to affect 10 per cent of the population. Absent feelings are not the result of simple repression - as in socially phobic, avoidant or stoic personalities - that require repressed feelings to be brought to light. In the alexithymic person, there is no initial formation of such feelings to allow for a subsequent act of repression. Rather, the formation of feelings is blocked from the outset, leaving no feelings to 'uncover' in therapy. Jason Thompson describes the salient features of this condition, the importance of accurate assessment and identification of the underlying causes, and the implications for clinical practice. Imaginal feedback technique is outlined as a therapeutic avenue to restore the stunted imagination to a more functional level and reduce the level of alexithymia in certain individuals. (editor abstract)
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To cite this article: Thompson, J. Alexithymia: an imaginative approach. [online]. Psychotherapy in Australia; Volume 14, Issue 4; 2008 Aug; 58-63. Availability: