Under the skin: A psychoanalytic study of body modification

Lemma, Alessandra (2010) Under the skin: A psychoanalytic study of body modification. Routledge, New York. ISBN 9780415485692

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This book considers the motivation behind why people pierce, tattoo, cosmetically enhance, or otherwise modify their body, from a psychoanalytic perspective. It discusses how the therapist can understand and help individuals for whom the manipulation of the body is felt to be psychically necessary, regardless of whether the process of modification causes pain. In this book, psychoanalyst Alessandra Lemma draws on her work in the consulting room, as well as films, fiction, art and clinical research, to suggest that the motivation for extensively modifying the surface of the body, and being excessively preoccupied with its appearance, comes from the person's internal world - under their skin. Topics covered include: (1) body image disturbance; (2) appearance anxiety; (3) body dysmorphic disorder; and (4) the psychological function of cosmetic surgery, tattooing, piercing and scarification. This book provides a detailed study of the challenges posed by our embodied nature through an exploration of the unconscious phantasies that underlie the need for body modification, making it essential reading for all clinicians working with those who are preoccupied with their appearance and modify their bodies including psychotherapists, counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: Table of Contents Introduction: The body as canvas As you desire me The symptom of ugliness Mirrors Being seen or being watched Occupied territories and foreign parts: Reclaiming the body Copies without originals: Envy and the maternal body The botoxing of experience Ink, holes and scars Conclusion: An order of pure decision Notes References Index
Uncontrolled Keywords: Body Art, Tattooing, Body Piercing,Psychological Aspects, Beauty, Grooming, Permanent Makeup, Psychological Aspects, Mental Health
Subjects: Subconscious & Unconscious, Personality > Self Concept/Identity
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/389

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