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The Renfrew Center Announces Therapists Contribution to First Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance

The Renfrew Center, the nation's first and largest network of eating disorder treatment facilities, today announced that National Training Director Adrienne Ressler, LMSW, CEDS and Dance/Movement Therapist Susan Kleinman, BC-DMT, NCC, CEDS, co-authored the entry "Experiential and Somatopsychic Approaches to Body Image Change" in the first Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance.

Their work recognizes that not only have cutting edge theories from the past informed present experiential and somatopsychic approaches, but that utilization of these methods often results in a synergy that provides a powerful means for treating body image disturbance.

According to Ressler and Kleinman, "Because body and mind are inter-related and form a cohesive whole, body movements are influenced by our thoughts, attitudes and feelings, and so, too, our thoughts attitudes and feelings are influenced by the rhythm and movements of the body and cannot be treated independently of one another."

This extensive publication is designed as a resource for professionals, researchers and students interested in investigating more in-depth material regarding the complexity of body image. The Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance, published by Elsevier and edited by Thomas Cash, is a two volume work on the scientific study of one's perceptions of how one appears to others and how others are reacting to that appearance.

The Encyclopedia will investigate such questions as:

  • Is there a universal standard of beauty?
  • Has that standard of beauty shifted over time and if so, how?
  • How do children's toys and television affect their developing sense of self?
  • How does the media in general affect our perceptions of appearance norms?
  • Why and how do people prefer to physically alter their appearance?
  • And how are such changes perceived by others?What populations have specific ideals of appearance that differ from norms?

The work will additionally discuss theories and knowledge about the influences of physical attractiveness, appearance-based stereotyping and social discrimination.