17th of January lecture 2017

False Bodies, True Selves: Exploring Transpersonal Methods of Addressing Body Image Struggles
Presented by: Nicole Schnackenberg

Albert Camus once beautifully said, “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer”. The practice of embracing the darkness in our lives and discovering our luminous selves within this darkness is at the heart of the human experience. Such an understanding, however, seems rarely to be at the forefront of medical-model thinking. The emphasis, instead, would appear to be on escaping the winter, annihilating the cold, and banishing the icy parts within us.

In this Tuesday evening lecture we will explore a meditative and conscious approach to embracing the shadows related to appearance-focused distress. We will explore how to form a deeper sense of connection between our spiritual and physical being and think about how and why our identities get tangled up in our appearance. We will look at how we can move from the Winnicottian false self to true self by remembering, and returning to, our innate goodness and transpersonal nature.

Nicole Schnackenberg is a psychotherapist and therapeutic yoga practitioner based in Essex. She currently divides her time between her doctoral studies in child psychology at the Tavistock Centre, her role as a therapeutic yoga practitioner at Special Yoga Foundation, and her position as a trustee of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. She has authored a book on transpersonal modes of healing for appearance-focused identity struggles entitled ‘False Bodies, True Selves: Moving Beyond Appearance-Focused Identity Struggles and Returning to the True Self’ and co-edited a book on Body Dysmorphic Disorder: ‘Reflections on Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Stories of Courage, Determination and Hope’. Nicole co-facilitates the UK’s first ‘Eat Breathe Thrive’ yoga programme for food and body image issues in Putney, London.