Abstract

The Virtual Environment for Body Image Modification (VEBIM) is a set of tasks aimed at treating body-image disturbances and body dissatisfation associated with eating disorders. Two methods are commonly used to treat body-image disturbance: (1) a cognitive-behavioral therapy to influence patients' feelings of dissatisfaction and (2) a visual-motorial therapy, with the aim of influencing the level of bodily awareness. VEBIM tries to integrate these two therapeutical approaches within an immersive virtual environment. The choice of VEBIM would not only make it possible to intervene simultaneously on all of the forms of bodily representations but also to use for therapeutical purposes the psychophysiological effects provoked on the body by the virtual experience. The paper describes the VEBIM theoretical approach and its characteristics; it also presents a study on a preliminary sample (72 normal subjects) to test the efficacy of this approach.

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