Cognitive behavioral therapy, which is specific for BDD (CBT-BDD), provides the basis for the different components used in our treatment program. The methods of CBT are evidence-based, representing the only psychotherapeutic approach thus far proven to be effective in treating BDD. Overall, CBT works as a form of guided self-help therapy that aims at changing the way the patient thinks and acts. CBT-BDD has been specifically designed to provide the patient with new ways of dealing with the body areas of concern, thereby reducing the associated preoccupation while improving everyday functioning. Specifically, treatment components include actively challenging the repetitive thinking, rituals and avoidance associated with BDD as well as testing relevant fears and assumptions. Further, our treatment consists of a series of additional modules (e.g., addressing skin picking behavior, concerns regarding the size or shape of one’s muscles) that may be used if needed. Thus, every patient will receive a treatment that is specifically tailored to his or her personal needs.
Some individuals with BDD may need a combined treatment of medication (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and CBT-BDD. This combined therapeutic approach has also been shown to effectively reduce BDD symptoms.
At the BDD outpatient unit, we see ourselves as a treatment team that works on the basis of evidence-based state-of-the-art therapeutic interventions. The close connection to the University of Muenster and the psychotherapy outpatient unit guarantees high quality standards for both the training of our clinicians and the treatment of our patients. Detailed assessments and treatment sessions, combined with continuous supervision of our trained staff, are core features of our work. We also cooperate with other BDD outpatient units, such as the OCD & related Disorders Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, to enable a continuous exchange regarding therapeutic and research-related issues.