Winner of the IAJS Book Award for Best Book published in 2019 and the NAAP Gravitas Award 2019

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 I, Dunlea defines BodyDreaming and its origins, placing it in the context of a dysregulated contemporary world. Part II 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 traum throughout the body. In Part III, 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 E. 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.

BodyDreaming book cover image

The book is also available in an Italian translation.

Cover of the Italian translation of Marian's book


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


“BodyDreaming, Marian Dunlea’s 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 actually experience our interventionsin 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. Marian Dunlea’s BodyDreaming provides a way of getting ‘underneath’ the seemingly intractable defenses and resistances that our traumatized patients present to us, without our having to forsake the mytho-poetic imagination and its symbolic riches found in dreams, active imagination and the other products of the unconscious. The extensive verbatim write-ups of actual clinical vignettes in the text demonstrate Marian’s exquisite attunement to the felt experience reported by her clients. For all of us seeking a more relevant and effective way of working, these verbatim accounts are illuminating to read. Doing so has already improved my practice as an analyst.”

Donald E. Kalsched, PhD.

Santa Fe, New Mexico


“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, PhD.

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 from the emotional responses that it carries. The body cannot and does not lie. Dunlea offers both the practitioner and the participant the vital keys to unlocking this deeply healing truth.”

Paula M. Reeves, PhD

Psychotherapist and author of Women’s Intuition: Unlocking the Wisdom of the Body and Heart Sense: Unlocking Your Highest Purpose and Deepest Desires