Dissertation Title:

The Poetry of the Body Within: How Proprioception Informs Embodied Knowing in Depth Psychology


Taunya Nelson

Date, Time & Place:

October 5, 2022 at 11:00 am


This qualitative study bridges hermeneutic, phenomenological, and transdisciplinary inquiry through an embodied lens, examining how proprioception—an inner sense of perception or a sense of being embodied—informs how people know through the body. By reviewing literature within depth psychology, philosophy, and areas of practice, this research builds upon a cross pollination of ideas to deepen, celebrate, and better understand the nature of proprioception and how it communicates. A creative dialogue between body and psyche, mediated through the medium of clay, reveals more of an embodied sensibility by amplifying the body’s underrepresented perspective. Methods of embodied close reading, embodied writing, and iterative hermeneutic analysis reveal parallels among various disciplines and this research. Through the researcher’s clay making ritual, the experience of proprioception expressed itself through individualistic languaging, aesthetic resonance and affinity, and a sensual dialogue of touch. Stillness, archetypal embodiment, encoded objects, and communicative intersubjectivity were other elements explored through experiential sense-making. A nuanced, metaphorical language of micro- and macro-experience emerged through ritual clay making as well as an interrelational immersion within a greater field: experiences that favor poetic sensory naming and mythopoetic narrative in a fluid dialogue of energy. To this researcher, proprioception is like the fascia that forms a sense of embodied self and makes sense of experience. In its complexity and fluidly morphing perceptions and expressions, proprioception ties subjective experiences together with the depths of the soul and the world.

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology Jungian Archetypal Studies, N, 2016
  • Chair: Dr. Dylan Hoffman
  • Reader: Dr. Jeanne Schul
  • External Reader: Dr. Sophia Reinders
  • Keywords: Proprioception, Embodiment, Depth Psychology, Clay, Aesthetics, Resonance, Transdisciplinarity, Typology, Embodied Writing, Embodied Close Reading