Mirror Exposure Therapy, what is it?

Mirror Exposure Therapy, what is it?

Every day more eating disorders (also abbreviated as TCA) they are more frequent at earlier ages, this according to some research that has been carried out. For this reason, it is worth knowing about different strategies for therapeutic management, one of which is mirror exposure therapy, a technique widely used in the area of ​​Psychology. Therefore, I will tell you a little about what it is, its key characteristics and its main benefits.


  • 1 What is Mirror Exposure Therapy?
  • 2 What are its key characteristics?
  • 3 Main benefits of Mirror Exposure Therapy

What is Mirror Exposure Therapy?

It is a psychological technique that It works especially in the cognitive behavioral approach, having as main axis the mental and behavioral modification of certain aspects harmful to the person. Specifically It helps to work with negative body image, This occurs especially in eating disorders (eg, Anorexia nervosa, bulimia, vigorexia, binge eating, among others.).

When reading this, many will ask: why does this technique work on body image? What is wrong with the body image of people who require this type of therapy? Well, at this moment it is necessary to clarify something fundamental that happens in eating disorders; Many times there is a mistaken belief that someone with an anorexia only vomits all the time (which is totally false), since it goes beyond that. A person with these types of disorders begin to perceive your body (i.e. your body image) in a distorted way, where for example: when you look in a mirror you can see your fat reflex even if you are a thin person.

Taking into account the aforementioned mirror exposure therapy works together with emotional and thought management (mainly negative), ensuring that the therapeutic objectives of a psychology professional with his patient are met.

What are its key characteristics?

Initially, it should be taken into account that mirror exposure therapy, as its name indicates, performs a subtype of exposure therapy, where in this case a mirror (preferably large) is used as a resource to find out what the subjective perception the patient has (either child, teenager or adult) on your body image.

Further, allows to establish 3 interpretations, which are: How do I look? How would you like to see me? And how do I think others see me?. Basically it is that the psychologist says the following instruction to the patient: “you are going to sit physically in front of a mirror, you are going to look into your eyes and you are going to tell me that you are watching”, this will be done when you want to use the mirror as an evaluation tool .

On the other hand, if we want to use the mirror to make psychological intervention in the negative body image, the following indications will be given to the patient: “you are going to physically sit in front of a mirror, you are going to look into your eyes and repeat the following sentence: - I accept myself and approve myself as I am-, then you will take a deep breath, watching how you feel. This is repeated several times. ” With which positive and strong self-esteem is increasingly promoted. If you consider that you perceive your body image in a negative way and want to know more about how to do this therapy, I recommend that you attend a consultation with a psychologist who will guide you in a personalized way in the subject, according to your specific needs.

Main benefits of Mirror Exposure Therapy

Apart from that it serves for eating disorders Some people with disabilities (especially motor) have reported that this therapy has brought them great benefits, since, at the moment of perceiving the phantom limb, that is to say those people who have had to amputate a part of their body, but their brain makes them believe that it is still there and they can move it.

In addition to this, in general, in any difficulty of self-esteem or when it is low or decreased, it has had an enormous positive impact, since it allows the erroneous interpretations of your body appearance to be evaluated and in turn be modified with the application of this therapy .

Finally allows emotions, thoughts, sensations and associated behaviors to surface. This facilitates a therapeutic work that covers all the patient's channels.

In conclusion…

We must learn to love each other, which is reflected from the way you treat yourself, that is; What you think, express (emotionally), feel (physically) and do (your behaviors). Remember that ... We are all different, so learn to love the differences that define you!


  • NEDA (2018). Statistics of eating disorders. Extracted from: //
  • Guerrero G. (2013). The mirror technique to improve self-esteem. Extracted from: //