Body Dysmorphic Disorder Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that has been proven to be effective in treating the symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder. This treatment can help individuals with BDD cope with the anxiety, depression, and impairment in functioning that often accompany this disorder.
Cognitive Behavioral therapy focuses on helping people change unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviors. In the context of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, this means learning to notice and challenge irrational thoughts about appearance and engage in behaviors that will improve functioning.
In CBT for BDD, therapists work with clients to develop a more accurate view of their appearance by gathering information from other people, creating an exposure hierarchy, and using relaxation techniques. Therapists also encourage clients to engage in activities they have avoided because of BDD-related concerns such as interacting with others and dating.
Clients are encouraged to observe themselves objectively and question their own assumptions about the way they look.
BDD is a mental disorder where your thoughts become focused on how you look and how others perceive that appearance. For example, if you feel like your nose is too large, then BDD might cause you to fixate on this part of your body and not see yourself as attractive. In severe cases, it can prevent people from being able to go out in public.
People with BDD tend to have high levels of anxiety, which makes them focus even more on their flaws and causes them to avoid social situations out of fear of rejection. The anxiety also prevents them from seeing that their flaws are not as bad as they seem and that other people do not notice them as much either.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of treatment for BDD. CBT works by helping you change how you think about yourself and others by observing how these thoughts influence your behavior and feelings.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aims to change the way individuals think about their body, and how this thinking contributes to their BDD symptoms. CBT can be particularly helpful for those who have distressing thoughts about their appearance. There are two parts to CBT: cognitive strategies and behavioral strategies.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental illness in which a person obsesses over one or more perceived defects in appearance. This can include physical features such as skin, hair, or facial features, or even imagined defects in the body. BDD is often characterized by excessive mirror checking, constant comparisons to others, excessive grooming, and compulsive picking at the skin or hair. People with BDD are often severely distressed. They may go to great lengths to conceal their “flaws,” and this can lead to social withdrawal and isolation. People with BDD may also avoid certain activities, like going out in public or interacting with others. These behaviors can be extremely damaging, leading to depression and anxiety as well as low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help you recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective in treating body dysmorphic disorder.
One way the therapist may accomplish this is by helping you identify, challenge, and modify negative thoughts about your appearance. You might also learn coping strategies for dealing with negative thoughts or urges to perform repeated behaviors (compulsions) such as mirror checking, skin picking, reassurance seeking, and excessive grooming.