Body Image Issues? 4 Books that Help.

Do you find teaching and promoting positive body image a challenge? Luckily, there are now so many more resources available for educators, students, clinicians – all of us. Certainly more then when I started!

I’m often asked for recommendations, so in the first of a continuing series I’ve briefly highlighted four books you may find helpful. All offer practical advice and accessible insight into the fight back against our culture of ‘thin’.

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Thomas Cash WorkbookThomas F Cash, PhD, is the author of ” The Body Image Workbook: An Eight Step Program for Learning to Like your Looks” as well as co-editor with Linda Smolak, PhD of the 2012 edition of Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice and Preventation. Cash is founder and editor-in-chief of Body Image: An International Journal of Research. 

 The Body Image Workbook uses a cognitive-behavioral approach which has proven success for those working on negative body issues, whilst The Body Image Handbook focuses on the background to, research into and various clinical practices to avoid poor body image and eating disorders.

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2 Linda SmolakLinda Smolak is co-editor of Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in Youth: Assessment, Prevention and Treatment. What I found especially useful was the analysis of the cultural, social and familial factors leading to poor body image and eating problems.  Both Professor Smolak and Professor Kevin Thompson, PhD, author and co-editor, have authored numerous articles and books on body image and eating disorders. He has been on the editorial board of the International Journal of Eating Disorders since 1990.

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In Body Image: Understanding Body Dissatisfaction in Men, Women and Children, UK Professor Sarah Grogan examines the “sociocultural influences on body image” with an overview of body image research “from the fields of psychology, sociology, media, and gender studies in men, women, and children.” Professor Grogan was one of the first to focus on men and children as well as women, and as such is particularly useful. The book looks closely at the links between body image and physical activity which is one of the author’s research interests. Good stuff.

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Which book, article or other web resource have you found indispensible? Please email me at jeryl@weightdebate.co.uk and let me know what you recommend – it’s a team effort!

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