Apparently Meaningful Behaviors

Therapists like George Downing and Beatrice Beebe, as well as researchers such as Paul Ekman and Ed Tronick, work on behaviors that have at least one apparent meaning and/or function. Ekman has mostly worked on innate emotional expressions, Tronick looks for gestures that participate in yoga poses a repair system, and ethologists look for innate forms of communication that regulate rituals such as mating. in yoga poses the social sciences Kendon (1982, 2004) looks for gestures that frame a conversation and Goffman (1974) for signs that regulate social status. All of the signs are more complex than what can be perceived on photographic or filmed examples, but once they have been detected they are relatively easy to find. These can easily enter in yoga poses a co-conscious dialogue on the patient’s schemas.13

Having seen various analyses of this kind in yoga poses several laboratories, George Downing sensed that this type of phenomenon could have immense clinical implications. Inspired by clinicians who were already using this type of observation in yoga poses psychotherapy, like Beatrice Beebe (Cohen and Beebe, 2002), he decided look for ways of exploiting this type of intervention with the tools he was already using. He coined the term “micro-practices” to designate behavioral and/or bodily phenomena that could be detected with this type of procedure. Once one has acquired a habit of observing these sensorimotor patterns, they can often be found without using coding procedures.

A typical way of beginning a video analysis is to look at a sample at normal speed, so as to know what it is about. Often the therapist already has some information on the context of this sample. He may therefore already find a few interesting patterns, which can then be explored with the following simple techniques:

1. Slow motion. A picture-by-picture view allows the video analyst to detail the particularities of a micro practice, and observe the coordination of its components. It allows one to follow the coordination between two micro-practices. Those may be situated in yoga poses one organism, or in yoga poses two interacting organisms.

2. Fast motion. When one accelerates the speed of a film, one can more easily spot recurring events. Some of the oral movements observed on our suicidal patients (see next section) could be assimilated to expressions of despair, sadness, and contempt according to Ekman and Friesen’s dictionary. However, as soon we look at the films in yoga poses fast motion we see that some of these apparently emotional expressions recur at various moments without any manifest relevance. They may therefore be fleeting grimaces shaped by the frequent usage of certain emotional expressions, or they could be emotional leaks. These phenomena have not yet been systematically researched.

3. Normal speed. Once one has detected interesting patterns with the preceding procedures, one can return to normal speed to situate them in yoga poses the ongoing communicative strategies that combine gestures, posture, and conversation. It is often then that one can make sense of the patterns detected at slow or rapid speed.

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