Workshops | The Body as Testament: Self-Mutilation

I am the hunchback of Notre Dame.
Beast from the forest
The phantom of the Opera.
My scars crying look.
Look and see what life has done to me.
Read the story of my life there and weep.
The cruel cuts.
The jagged lines.
The clumsy attempts at repair.
The rehurting.
The keloid scarring.
I am not who you think I am.
I am the afflicted.

The one you look away from.
Product of the nuclear family.
Product of society.
See my scars and wonder at how I can live.

~ Co-Researcher B.
December 21st, 1991

Training Only for Educators, Therapists, and College Students

A lecture/training and workshop based upon Dr. Scott’s research findings from a phenomenological study of chronic self-mutilation by adult women. The literature review includes contemporary theories regarding the behavior of self-mutilation, reenactment and childhood trauma. There is also a theoretical discussion regarding the etiology, prevalence and motivation of the phenomenon of self-mutilation. This lecture includes five case studies, open-ended interviews, life-sized silhouette drawings of the type and location of self-harm inflicted upon the body, artwork, poetry and an existential phenomenological synthesis of the interviews. For the lecture slides of the artwork and the life-sized silhouettes are shown. The DES was administered to this research population and all in this study tested above the cut off score for dissociative identity disorder. The lecture includes a discussion of implications for treatment and future research.

Body Arm

Samples of patients' work from Dr. Scott's research on chronic mutilation.


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Text and all images except background are copyright © 1994–2009 E. Hitchcock Scott.
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