Visual representations of coping with body dysmorphic disorder:a multimodal hermeneutic phenomenological approach


BACKGROUND: Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition characterised by distress associated with perceived defects in one's physical appearance. Such defects are likely to be very slight or invisible to external observers, making it difficult for people with BDD to convey what they see. METHODS: Participants created artwork representing how they cope with BDD, then completed a follow-up interview to discuss their artwork. Framework for the Analysis of Drawings was used together with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. FINDINGS: Three overarching themes were generated from the analysis, centred around BDD's fusion with one's lifeworld, perceptual detachment, and fragmented selves. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest incorporating artwork creation in BDD research and clinical settings may elucidate understanding of "hidden" experiences. Clinicians may find it helpful to reflect on how the distinctive BDD "way of seeing" can infuse not just specific perceptions of the body, but also the person's wider relationship to the world.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
Additional Information: Copyright © 2023, The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Body dysmorphia,creative phenomenology,interpretive phenomenological analysis,qualitative psychology,arts-based research
Publication ISSN: 1753-3023
Last Modified: 23 May 2024 07:17
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2023 16:35
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 15.2023.2166088 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-02-06
Published Online Date: 2023-02-06
Accepted Date: 2023-01-03
Authors: Craythorne, Shioma-Lei (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-9075-947X)
Shaw, Rachel L. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-0438-7666)
Larkin, Michael (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3304-7000)



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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