11. The Skin

An Introduction

  1. Nicola Diamond

Published Online: 7 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118321102.ch11

Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments

Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments

How to Cite

Diamond, N. (2013) The Skin, in Between Skins: The Body in Psychoanalysis - Contemporary Developments, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118321102.ch11

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 APR 2013
  2. Published Print: 20 MAY 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470019429

Online ISBN: 9781118321102

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Keywords:

  • body image;
  • body surface;
  • brain-body maps;
  • neuroscience;
  • psychoanalysis;
  • skin;
  • skin ego

Summary

This chapter focuses on the skin, the outer surface of the body, and its senses. Whereas the vital order becomes a vital field of relations, where the outside world becomes inherent in the vital terrain, the skin, touch and the relational field are also integral to what has been referred to as the skin or body-ego. The author introduces the alternative framework to provide a context for a new understanding. Freud's idea of the body ego that has to be developed and constructed is the author's starting point. The body ego cannot be reduced to an intra-psychic experience, divorced from the sensory-somatic body or from environmental context. Brain–body mapping is developmentally informed and is related to the skin as a surface, which in turn is inscribed in an environmental interpersonal and social field.