Have you ever been praised or criticized about your body or any part of it? With this question, participants of a research study were invited to share their experiences of body judgment. As participants described, the body is a carrier of messages and the source of judgmental experiences.
Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Gaze, Body Image, Shame, Judgment and Maternal Function: Being and Belonging offers an insightful and engaging psychoanalytical account of experiences of shame and fear of rejection, explained through clinical vignettes and research participants' scripts. Exploring the findings from the individual and social standpoints, as well as the cultural and historical influences, Dr. Roth proposes that judgements are experienced as attacks, with the meaning attributed to the criticized body part, affecting the sense of self and forming a central point of the participants' identity trauma. Furthermore, that as guilt requires reparative action, shame requires an act of sacrifice to align the individual to the ideal and to preserve the matrix of belonging, thus explaining the participants' use of alienation as a defense.
This book will be of great interest to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, as well as scholars of culture and religion. Giving a brief introduction to psychoanalytic concepts, with a full glossary, it will also appeal to the non-psychoanalytic reader, interested in body image and how related perceptions and judgements can affect our own sense of Being and Belonging.
Lía A. Roth, PsyaD, was born in Argentina, where she studied psychology at the University of Buenos Aires. Once in the United States, she obtained a master's and a doctoral degree. In 2016, the Internarional Psychoanalytic Association awarded Dr. Roth a Research Training Fellowship.