From Body Image to Emotional Bodily Experience in Eating Disorders

In: Journal of Phenomenological Psychology
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  • 1 University of Chile

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This paper is a critical analysis and overview of body image conceptualization and its scope and limits within the field of eating disorders (eds) up to the present day. In addition, a concept of emotional bodily experience is advanced in an attempt to shift towards a more comprehensive and multidimensional perspective for the lived body of these patients. It mainly considers contributions from phenomenology, embodiment theories and a review of the empirical findings that shed light on the emotional bodily experience in eating disorders. It proposes an ‘embodied defense’ that leads patients to experiencing their own bodies as objects. This proposal highlights the need for new psychotherapeutic tools in the treatment of eds that take into account the bodily resonance of emotions and their use for improving adaptive responses to the environment: it calls for helping patients to recover the subjective experience of their bodies.

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