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Cognitive-behavioral roots of body image therapy and prevention

Lewis-Smith, Helena; Diedrichs, Phillippa C.; Halliwell, Emma



The existing array of evidence-based body image prevention and intervention approaches has evolvedover time. However, the majority originated directly or indirectly from a cognitive-behavioral conceptu-alisation of body image pioneered by Thomas F. Cash. In this way, it is difficult to overstate the impactTom Cash has had on body image intervention research and practice. His ground-breaking work, buildingon the work of Schilder and Fisher, was the first to provide a comprehensive model of body image thatreflected the broad range of influences and consequences of body image. His differentiation of the com-ponents of body image as a construct and between body image traits and states allowed us to identifyand influence targets for intervention. Moreover, the intervention strategies that Tom Cash employed arestill used today and laid the foundations for contemporary intervention programs. There is a gap of morethan 15 years between the first and last of us receiving our PhDs, yet Cash’s work has been an importantinfluence on us all. We are extremely grateful for the theoretical and practical tools that he has given toour field. In this paper, we will outline how Cash’s work has informed contemporary body image inter-vention and prevention. We will describe Cash’s theory and intervention tools before discussing how thiswork paved the way for subsequent research and practice.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Dec 1, 2019
Journal Body Image
Print ISSN 1740-1445
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Pages 309-320
APA6 Citation Diedrichs, P. C., Lewis-Smith, H., & Halliwell, E. (2019). Cognitive-behavioral roots of body image therapy and prevention. Body Image, 31, 309-320.
Keywords Applied Psychology; General Psychology; Social Psychology