The repetition compulsion refers to the way that the past has been appropriated and incorporated into the patient’s generalized, embodied way of being (or, in other words, their character style). In analytic psychotherapy, the best access to this realm of being, to uncover the forces that empower the patient’s embodiment, is to attend to the manner with which the patient’s material is presented. The mode of communication, particularly the nonverbal reactions and style of speaking, and their effects on the therapist, offers an important inroad into the patient’s early life history (or, as I would prefer to say, to the tacit background horizon) particularly primitive affective states, internal object relations and preverbal trauma. This is enacted within the transference/countertransference (i.e. intersubjective) field. I will attempt to demonstrate the importance of focused observation and interpretation of embodied enactments, especially acts of speech. With careful observation, we can notice “breaks” in the compulsive repetitions, within which the horizon opens up, and affects as well as bodily reactions associated with early life trauma and infant danger situations emerge.