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Body Image

Body image, like self-image, refers to a person’s perception of their own body and how this perception makes them feel.  Body image is not concrete: we look at another person and think there is only one way to see their body, but people who suffer from body image disorders have a distorted perception of their appearance.


  • Anxiety and depression related to appearance
  • Obsessing over a single perceived flaw in appearance
  • Spending excessive time looking in mirrors
  • Excessive grooming and exercise
  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia


It’s possible that physical abnormalities cause body dysmorphia, such as prenatal conditions, genetics, and even addiction.  There are also sociological hypotheses about the effects of a cultural overemphasis on physical appearance and beauty.  Fear of and prevalence of obesity in a society have been shown to predict occurrence of body image disorders.  There are also theories that mass media can play a role in exposing young people to a distorted perception of the world and can lead to a psychological obsession with perfection.


The physical and behavioral aspects of body image disorders can be treated by teaching healthy means of exercise and the importance of eating a balanced and proper diet.  The psychological aspects can be treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, in which a psychotherapist aims to find the underlying beliefs that cause the client distress and restructure these beliefs as the client adjusts their body image.

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Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists furnish a supportive environment, providing healthy outlooks and understanding.

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