The author reviews James-Lange theory of emotion so as to rediscover modern elements that may apply to contemporary psychotherapy. The emerging of emotions from (1) the un-mediated contact between body and the real world and from (2) the recollection of previous contacts underlines the permeability of the individual to the surrounding environment. James’s realism should cause psychotherapists to reflect on the importance of listening to patients’ "real events" and on the actual impact of the therapist ("personal qualities") on the treatment. The Author then focuses on the relationship between the patient’s narrative and body during treatment by emphasizing how the patient’s communication that is expressed through "imagery" can turn out to be a reference to somatic earlier experience. The author traces links between William James’ conception of emotions, the "feeling of what happens" as conceptualized by Antonio Damasio, and considerations of subsymbolic experience as advanced by Wilma Bucci.
Keywords: James-Lange, Bucci, body-mind, subsymbolic, existential realism