Posted in Alienation

In What Ways Might a Counselor’s Own Body Image Impact on Patient Work?

I would describe body image as the perception one has about one’s body, and the negative or positive thoughts and feelings that are derived from this perception. Learning to love myself holistically, with a focus on body image, has had a constructive impact on my patient work. It has increased my bodily awareness, which in turn has enabled me to notice more non-verbal cues from patients and has increased my empathy for their body issues. My feeling is that there is a need for counselors to apply the humanistic values of unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence1 not only to our emotional selves, but also to our attitudes towards our bodies. Some beliefs we have about ourselves are not verbal and part of a counselor’s task is to bring a patient’s belief systems into a more malleable form in order to understand them. Many patients I have worked with felt victimized by their bodies. They had not learned to listen to what their body was telling them. I have seen this in

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