|Inside Our Skin: Contextual Behavioral Approaches to Understanding, Preventing and Treating Body Image Problems|
|Sunday, May 27, 2012|
|2:00 PM–3:20 PM |
|4C-3 (Convention Center)|
|Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research|
|Chair: Shelley Greene (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)|
|Discussant: Catherine H. Adams (University of Mississippi)|
Body image can be defined as the feelings, perceptions, thoughts and beliefs that a person experiences about his/her own body. For some, this experience is fairly innocuous. The body is perceived like anything else in the world, with little impact on their feelings or on their behavior. For many, however, their experience of the body is rather important, particularly painful, and causes significant disruption in their lives. Functional approaches to understanding body image disturbance suggest that an individuals awareness of, openness to, and flexibility with the dynamic bodily experience might predict the impact body image has on their lives. The papers in this symposium will consider body image disturbance in terms of body image inflexibility. The first will investigate the relationship between body image flexibility and different aspects of body image disturbance. The second will explore the role of body image flexibility in managing physical and psychological health in obesity. The third will consider the outcomes and processes of a training targeting body image flexibility for prevention of body image disturbance.
|Keyword(s): body image, psychological flexibility|
DO NOT DISTURB: Body Image Flexibility and Body Image Disturbance
|GINA QUEBEDEAUX (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Shelley Greene (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Samantha Cordova (University Of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)|
Body image disturbance is associated with a range of psychological, social, and medical problems. Body image disturbance seems to include: 1) inaccurate perceptions of the body, 2) inaccurate and distressing thoughts and feelings about those perceptions, 3) high importance or meaning attributed to those perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, and 4) attempts to avoid those perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. In other words, body image disturbance is defined both by the content of the body image (i.e., the nature of the perceptions, thoughts, beliefs and feelings about the body), and by its function (i.e., how those perceptions, thoughts, beliefs and feelings impact ones life). Functional approaches to understanding body image disturbance suggest that an individuals awareness of, openness to, and flexibility with the dynamic bodily experience might predict the impact body image has on their lives. This study examined the relationship between body image flexibility and important aspects of body image disturbance. University students completed a packet of eight questionnaires on different aspects of body image. Body image flexibility was significantly correlated with body image distress, avoidance, low quality of life, dysfunctional coping styles, and disordered eating. This has specific implications for the conceptualization, treatment, and prevention of body image disturbance.
Living Beyond What We See in the Mirror: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Body Image
|SHELLEY GREENE (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Sarah Leblanc (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Gina Quebedeaux (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)|
Body image disturbance has been recognized as being an almost universal source of dissatisfaction and dysfunction in females. Traditionally, attempts to prevent or treat body image disturbance have focused on trying to improve an individuals thoughts and feelings about her body with limited success. Training psychological flexibility with body image, instead of aiming to change body image directly, may provide a more effective way to address body image disturbance. A number of emerging interventions for body image disturbance are using mindfulness-based interventions to improve body image flexibility. This study will examine the impact of Acceptance and Commitment Training for Body Image Flexibility on prevention of body image disturbance and disordered eating in university females. Forty members of a student organization volunteered for participation in a one-time workshop and repeated assessment of body- and eating-related functioning. Pilot data suggest that participants in the workshop experienced an increase in body image flexibility, quality of life, improvements in appropriate coping, and a decrease in disordered eating. Potential dissemination of prevention work in this area will be discussed.
Is Body Image Acceptance Predictive of Responsiveness to Dieting: An Observational Study
|GIOVAMBATTISTA PRESTI (Libera Universita di Lingue e Comunicazion), Paolo Moderato (Libera Universitadi Lingue e Comunicazione)|
Body image is a way to speak about the feelings, perceptions, thoughts and beliefs that a person might experience to his/her own body. It is often assumed that obese people eating habits are linked with poor body image, but not all obese persons suffer from this problem or are equally vulnerable (Schwartz & Brownell, 2004). There have been quite a number of risk factors identified thus far like overweight, being female, and binge eating. Recently, emerging cognitive and behavioural therapies have begun emphasizing acceptance of difficult perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings as having a potential role in treating obesity and disordered eating, though investigations on the correlation between body image and success or failure to dieting are lacking. In this theoretical talk, we will discuss the implications of high avoidance of body related thoughts and feelings as a predictor of failure to maintain dieting practices. A behavioural intervention based on acceptance, mindfulness and values will be discussed.