1.5 EMDRIA Credits
Thompson (1990) defined body image distortion as a persistent state of dissatisfaction and worry related to some aspect of physical appearance. It is important to identify the degree of the dissatisfaction that the person feels about her image. Lorraine Bell (2010) indicates that negative body image can range from dissatisfaction about some element of physical appearance to an extreme obsession that limits normal functioning. A body image may be negative to a degree that does not harm the person and may even provide the resource of awareness of the need for self-care and healthy habits. The negative body image that presents problems is the one that has negative repercussions on the life of the person. Janet (1903) talks about “being obsessed with shame regarding the body,” which implies fear of being considered ridiculous. Within the inner world of clients with EDs, this obsession with shame towards the body is held in the dissociative part of the “rejected self” (Seijo, 2000). This dissociative part plays a crucial role in the inner world, mostly in cases of anorexia and bulimia nervosa, where their world revolves around body image.
The concept of the “rejected self” may be explained by the idea of who the person never wants to be again, someone who actually existed in the past but who is now rejected and represents the image of what embarrasses and worries her. Dissociation begins through body image distortion, the dissociative defense of the rejected self and the main cause of many blockages in treatment. When working on the rejected self, we are integrating not only one of the parts most resistant to change in Eating Disorders, but also the body and everything that led to dissociation. Integrating this part implies a great step forward in the treatment of the disorder. The work with EMDR and the Rejected Self provides the therapist a great tool to make a solution for one of the most difficult steps are found in the treatment of Eating disorders.