Clinical Research

The MGH Body Dysmorphic Disorder Clinic & Research Unit offers both cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy for the treatment of BDD. We also provide one-time consultations, evaluations, and follow-up care.

More About Body Dismorphic Disorder

Learn more about our program.

Find out about our approach for BDD.

The facts about BDD.

Treatments:

We offer both cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy for the treatment of BDD. We also provide one-time consultations, evaluations, and follow-up care. Treatment delivered in the context of research studies is usually provided at no cost to our patients.

Cognitive-Behavioral TherapyCognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown promising results when delivered in either individual or group formats. CBT combines a number of cognitive and behavioral treatment strategies to target the multiple concerns and challenges faced by an individual with BDD. 

For a more detailed description of CBT, please go to our website at:  www.mghocd.org/bdd/services.htm

PharmacotherapyMedication can also be helpful for BDD, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Successful medication treatment can result in a decrease in time preoccupied with one’s appearance, less time spent on associated ritualistic behaviors, less distress, and a decrease in depressive symptoms. We recommend that patients be on medication for 12-16 weeks before assessing their response. Additionally, if one SSRI is not helpful, another may be.  Medication may be used alone or as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Ineffective TreatmentsSurgery, dermatological treatments and other cosmetic treatments have not shown to be effective and can make BDD symptoms worse.