“Measuring up to Measure” Dysmorphophobia as a Language Game

  • Elena FaccioEmail author
  • Chiara Centomo
  • Giuseppe Mininni
Regular Article


We look into the transformation of meanings in psychotherapy and suggest a clinical application for Wittgenstein’s intuitions concerning the role of linguistic practices in generating significance. In post-modern theory, therapy does not necessarily change reality as much as it does our way of experiencing it by intervening in the linguistic-representational rules responsible for constructing the text which expresses the problem. Since “states of mind assume the truths and forms of the language devices that we use to represent them” (Foucault, 1963, p. 57), therapy may be intended as a narrative path toward a new naming of one’s reified experiences. The clinical problem we consider here, the pervasive feeling of inadequacy due to one’s excessive height (dysmorphophobia), is an excellent example of “language game” by which a “perspicuous representation” (the “therapy” proposed by Wittgenstein in the 1953) may bring out alternatives to linguistically-built “traps”, putting the blocked semiotic mechanism back into motion.


Dysmorphophobia Psychotherapy Change Wittgenstein Language Game Theory Meaning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Faccio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chiara Centomo
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Mininni
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Applied PsychologyUniversity of PaduaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Constructivist PsychologyPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BariBariItaly

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