Ways To Improve Your Body Image
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Now we will assess the image from a formal point of view. In this portion we will be looking at how the image is drawn, from head to toe. This part of the assessment will provide us with information on conscious feelings regarding body image and self-concept. From the formal aspect, the symbolic abundance of ideas that was noted with regard to feelings of hopelessness, isolation, and immobility is apparent in her body image feelings. It also becomes clearer why the mouth was emphasized on the female and not on the male figure, as the mouth is the means by which food is brought in. In addition, the transparency that was noted in the female's trunk is not a thought disorder as in schizophrenia but certainly a thought disorder in her own body image and dysmorphic thinking. Finally, the apparent lack of neck (due to the way the drawing was colored) symbolizes her issues with control (wanting to be thinner) over the inner desires (wanting to consume food nurturance).
Again we repeat the basic assumption, verified repeatedly in clinical experience, that the human figure drawn by an individual who is directed to draw a person relates intimately to the impulses, anxieties, conflicts, and compensations characteristic of that individual. In some sense, the figure drawn is the person, and the paper corresponds to the environment. This may be a crude formulation, but serves well as a working hypothesis. The process of drawing the human figure is for the subject, whether he realizes it or not, a problem not only in graphic skill, but one of projecting himself in all of the body meanings and attitudes that have come to be represented in his body image. (p. 35) In short, when we draw, we do not reproduce one particular characteristic (e.g., a body image or facial expression) but a composite derived from many occasions, impressions, and memories. Therefore, the focus of art therapy is first on the experience and then on the understanding. In this manner the...