Dear colleagues,

This conference aims at exploring and discussing the role of emotions from phenomenological, psychopathological, and psychotherapeutic approaches.

Theories of emotions and their regulation are still dominated by cognitive approaches, whereas the bodily experience of emotions was treated as an add-on without particular relevance. In the last decade, however, concepts of embodiment have gained increasing importance not only for cognitive science, but also for emotion research. The bodily resonance of emotions already emphasized by William James has been found to underlie processes of interaffectivity and empathy, thus challenging the concepts of Theory of Mind or mentalizing still prevailing in social psychology. These insights are of particular importance for psychotherapy, where subliminal processes of non-verbal interaction, synchronization and bodily countertransference crucially influence the therapeutic process and outcome.

On this background, the conference has the threefold aim

  • to explore the interrelations of emotion, embodiment, intercorporeality and  interaffectivity by phenomenological methods,
  • to investigate these interrelations in psychopathology, for example in the context of schizophrenia or Borderline Personality Disorder, and
  • to demonstrate the relevance of these connections for clinical and psychotherapeutic practice.

The conference is organized by the

  • European Association of Phenomenology and Psychopathology (EAPP),  which was founded in Paris in 2018
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für phänomenologische Anthropologie, Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie (DGAP)
  • Alanus Hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft, Mannheim

We would be glad to welcome you at Heidelberg University and hope you will enjoy the multidisciplinary approach to the topic as well as the beautiful atmosphere of autumn in Heidelberg.

Warm welcome to all of you,

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Fuchs,

Prof. Dr. Christian Tewes,  Mannheim

Dr. Hannes Gustav Melichar,