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August 1961

Perceived Size of Self-Image Body Parts in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Agnews State Hospital, California Department of Mental Hygiene.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(2):131-140. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710140023004

This is one of 2 studies completed as an introduction to the part the body image plays in schizophrenia. Unlike Fisher and Cleveland,1,2 the departure here is not the boundaries of the organism, or its penetrability, but the internal structure of the body image. These studies were stimulated by the rather frequent observation in the psychotherapy of schizophrenic patients3-5 that their improvement was often accompanied by a reorganization of the body image.

Burton,6 on the basis of such experiences, speculated as to the relationship of the body image to the personality structure of schizophrenia as follows:

It has seemed to me that no successful treatment of a chronic schizophrenic can occur without a reorganization of the body image. The psychological concept of self is so minutely bound up with our conception of our organs and body that it is difficult to conceive of

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