The relationship built between client and therapist is an essential aspect of exploring our feelings about our own bodies. Our bodies carry with us lifelong stories which we are given space to unpack and explore through therapy. By naming and letting go of past stories of otherness, shame or guilt, we can begin to find a new sense of freedom and body liberation.
One of my favorite writers and activists breaks down what we mean when we choose to move towards body liberation in the therapeutic space: “Liberation is freedom from all outside expectations, even our own. Liberation is not having to love your body all the time. Liberation is not asking permission to be included in society’s ideal of beauty. Liberation is bucking the concept of beauty as currency altogether. Liberation is recognizing the systemic issues that surround us and acknowledging that perhaps we’re not able to fix them all on our own. Liberation is personally giving ourselves permission to live life.” -Jes Baker, 2018
But where should we begin? If we are new to this conversation, where do we find support, guidance and insight into our own body stories? One small step is to begin to find new teachers, new storytellers, and new role models who can reflect back to us our own experiences.
While social media can fuel self-criticism, comparison, and a growing sense of isolation, it can also be a glorious and supportive space for connection, body liberation and community. More specifically, the Health at Every Size and Fat Positivity movements are thriving on Instagram. We control our own experiences online. What if we curated our Instagram account with the messengers of body liberation and unconditional support? Start by following some of the folks below.
It’s also important to take in and reflect on the body stories of others and to acknowledge you are not alone in your experience of seeking more freedom in how you experience your mind and body. Consider reading, listening or watching the works below:
Hunger by Roxane Gay
The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor
Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement by Charlotte Cooper
Landwhale by Jes Baker
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma Bessel van der Kolk
Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison
The therapeutic space can be a safe and welcoming place for you to explore your body image and move towards body liberation. Often we feel like we must work through these issues and struggle alone. Your body is not a problem to be fixed. Your story is your own and therapy can support you in reclaiming your body narratives and becoming the storyteller of your own life.
Want to learn more? Consider joining Take Up Space: An 8 Week Group Exploring Body Image & the Practice of Compassionate Self-Care.
When: Saturdays, 1:30pm-3:00pm // January 11th-February 29th, 2020 Where: 875 6th Ave, New York, NY 10001 What: TAKE UP SPACE is a therapeutic group for anyone looking to release and work through distressing thoughts and feelings about body image. This group is for all gender identities and expressions to shift the relationship between the self and the body. Together we will explore the old narratives that have shaped our own body image and learn to practice radical, compassionate self-care. This group is rooted in the principles of Health at Every Size®, a social justice movement focused on respecting the diversity of all body shapes and sizes. TAKE UP SPACE will support you to embody and step into your most authentic self. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
Previously posted at: https://www.intuitivehealingnyc.com/blog/bodyliberationandtherapy