This manual, the first in a series called "Body Maps: Bringing Mind, Body and Community Together for Wellbeing" produced by the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI), is designed to assist facilitators to carry out body mapping exercises. According to REPSSI, body mapping can help people understand and explore their own lives and emotions, but it can also reach out to other people in social and political ways. This manual and approach were developed in the context of HIV/AIDS, but the author suggests that body mapping can be used to encourage reflection and discussion on a variety of issues.
The publication discusses key strategies for facilitation and provides an outline of how to use body mapping in a workshop setting. Body mapping uses drawing and painting exercises, visualisation, talking in groups, sharing, and quiet times for just thinking and reflecting on what is happening. According to the publication, body mapping can be used as a tool for the following:
- Therapeutic tool: Body mapping can be used to develop fresh insights, find new directions, and explore identity and social relationships.
- Treatment information and support tool: Body mapping works well as a workshop for people who are about to start anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment.
- Research tool: Body maps can be used in research. They work well as a participatory qualitative research tool, if the participants give their informed consent.
- Advocacy tool: Body maps can be shown at exhibitions, made into a book, or published on a website. Body maps communicate feelings, thoughts, and ideas and are able to raise awareness about political, personal, and social issues. They can draw attention to public health challenges.
- Inter-generational dialogue tool: Body mapping helps people of different generations talk to each other. The process can be used with children, caregivers, parents, and guardians, to build trust and deepen people's understanding of how their lives all connect with each other.
- Team building tool: Body maps can be used to build positive group relationships and to help people in the group appreciate their differences.
- Art, drawing, colour, and composition: Body maps can help people open up to their own creativity.
- Biographical tool: Body maps can be used to show and tell people's life stories (biographies) and important relationships.
Note: This document is not currently (as of April 2010) available for download. To request a copy, contact the publisher (see below).
REPSSI website on January 20 2009 and April 6 2010.