Obesidade feminina: considerações a partir do Psicodiagnóstico Interventivo [Female Obesity: considerations based on Intervenient Psychodiagnosis]

GOMES, F. K. T. M. Obesidade feminina: considerações a partir do Psicodiagnóstico Interventivo [Female Obesity: considerations based on Intervenient Psychodiagnosis]. Doctoral Thesis – Instituto de Psicologia da USP, Campus de Ribeirão Preto. Ribeirão Preto (SP), 2011. 

Available on: doi: <10.11606/T.59.2011.tde-11082011-163936> 

In the present days, obesity stands out as a global epidemic and one of the most risky pathologies, with serious consequences for both physical and mental health. Treatments for such illness have shown unsuccessful, with people experiencing difficulties in following alimentary diets and keep on practicing physical exercises. Therefore, weight loss does not last for long. Within the reflections on possible treatment strategies, the present study aimed to investigate care possibilities offered by Intervenient Psychodiagnosis as an adjuvant resource in the treatment of Level II, obese women. Five case studies were performed, with women ranging from 30 to 40 years of age, BMI between 35 kg/m² and 39,9 kg/m² (Level II Obesity) and average socio-economic level. All participants were addressed by their medical staff (School/Health Unit Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo) and psychologically assessed along eight sessions. The following instruments were applied: Human Figure Drawing Test (HFDT; beginning and end of process); semi-structured interview and Drawing-and-Story Procedure (D-E), with an intervenient approach. All techniques were assessed via free inspection method, in a qualitative, psychoanalytical approach. Similarities were found among all participants; common aspects include initial experiences within an ambient that has shown not sufficiently good, and therefore, unable to support participants affective needs. The same inability was observed in the maternal figure, as well as lack of support by a paternal figure, which was perceived as highly rigid, authoritative and severe. The lack of confidence in the familiar surroundings seemed to extend to participants’ sociability, especially when regarding their love relationships, which were experienced as insufficient and even traumatic. Many times, the other worked as an affection and care provider, in an attempt to substitute the impairment of parental figures. Hence, such others were seen as someone who took care and not one able to provide sexual satisfaction. The participants also presented feelings of low self-esteem as well as self-depreciation, recurring to the other in a submissive way, in an attempt to incessantly pleasing this object, so that his/her affection would not be lost. Food was used by participants as a way to protect themselves from interpersonal contact, due to their fear of suffering and not being loved; such expedient work as a false-self cloak, in order to protect the true self. Soon, participants would create a distance from such contact, leading to feelings of isolation. The lack of necessities and satisfaction of such women during their infancy led to a difficulty in developing autonomy and making a personal use of objects, as well as to an impairment of their passage to transitionality. During Intervenient Psychodiagnosis, the meeting of participant and researcher allowed that these women felt safe, confident and accepted, even when showing hostile feelings toward the other. The offering of holding and experience in a sufficiently good environment, as done during the assessment/intervention, allowed these women to get in touch with themselves and to know their needs and desires, as well as experiencing they could be expressed without retaliation, or leading to a loss of the loved object. Therefore, food was attributed a meaning, with each of the participants being able to make use of such meaning in their personal lives.

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