In psychology, body image is typically studied as if seen from the “outside”, through questionnaires, interviews and similar.
And it’s also quite interesting to explore it in immediate experience. What words, images and sensations are here, connected with how I see my body (as I think it is, would like it to be, and perhaps fear or hope it may be in the future)? What do I find when I look at each of these, feel the sensations, and see if I can find what I initially experience is there? (Threat, a threatened one, a body as I think it is, a body as I fear or hope it may be.)
It will have most meaning for me, as it helps me see what’s here, and perhaps allow sensations to “unstick” from the words and images. And it can also be studied on a larger scale, looking at commonalities and differences between people. What dynamics do we find? What’s shared? What’s the cultural component? What’s the differences and similarities between cultures?
I assume this approach will be included in mainstream academic and therapeutic psychology, perhaps within the next few decades. It seems inevitable that it will, since it’s so useful, and since other types of Buddhist-type practices have already entered mainstream. Mindfulness was first, and inquiry may be next.
It seems that the Living Inquiries can be a good tool in this process, this more phenomenological and first person exploration of body image.
– psychology, investigate body image in several ways
– apart from through forms of inquiry, phenomenology
– interesting to explore through words and images, and the sensations associated with these (creating charge, like/dislike etc.)