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THE IMAGE OF SELF in sexotherapy

THE IMAGE OF SELF in sexotherapy

Dr Adriana guzman à Paris


The term self-image refers to the mental representation that an individual forges of himself .


At birth, this representation is almost non-existent, it is built up as the child develops and depends on his personality, environment and education.


The body’s consciousness begins at the age of four and evolves significantly until puberty.


It is in these periods that the child realizes that he is a person in his own right and that he uses his name to talk about him. He will then assume attributes of appearance and character (tall, kind, courageous, beautiful, etc).

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Adolescence, the varied experiences of adult life, the impact of the media, and the conformity of the face and body in a society obsessed with the “beautiful”, the “thin” (even the ultra-thin), the “young” will continue this construction.


This subjective notion of self-image is two-folds. Firstly, it constitutes the image that the person physically has of herself, as seen in a mirror or photograph. Secondly, it extends to the representation and resonance of this image in a figurative, sometimes fantasized, sense.

THE IMAGE OF SELF in sexotherapy in Paris

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The entourage (especially family and school), through compliments, congratulations, but also blaming or criticism, will orient the individual either toward a better or a worse image of oneself.

It is also easier to have a favorable representation of oneself when one corresponds to the criteria of the society in which one evolves (“the tall blonde girl” is better valued than “the short fat girl” and these judgments will do profound damage in the person’s self-acceptance and self-opinion.

Image and self-esteem are two close concepts; However, if self-image is what we think of ourselves without value judgment, then esteem is what we appreciate and love in ourselves.

In most cases, people are able to accept themselves as they are, with their qualities and defects. They sometimes have a humorous touch on such and such a physical imperfection or on a trait of their character that demonstrates that they feel rather comfortable in their skin.


However, in some individuals, the focus on a part of their body or face is so strong that it prevents them from living a normal life or from investing in a harmonious couple relationship. In this case, it becomes necessary to undertake psychotherapy and / or consult an aesthetic doctor or plastic surgeon.


If the patient’s wish is appropriate (nose unsightly, non-existent breasts, ears strongly detached, genital anomaly), therapy or medical procedure will be the best solution.


On the other hand, if the problem of negative self-image persists, one can suspect a dysmorphophobic disorder, that is to say an exaggerated or even obsessive preoccupation that a part of the body or its whole has a deformity or unbearable ugliness (penis size, volume of the breasts, mouth too thick or not thick enough, etc).