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Body Dysmorphic Disorder Techniques for Treating Obesessions with Body Perfection
Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Diagnosis & Treatment - 10 CEUs

Section 29
Appendix: Client Reproducible Worksheets

CE Test | Table of Contents | Body Dysmorphia
Counselor CEUs, Social Worker CEUs, Psychologist CEs, MFT CEUs

Sensory Reinforcements
For more information on this technique, replay track 4.
Client follows directions in order to replace current coping methods such as alcohol and drug abuse.

  1. Rocking.  Gentle rhythmic movement has been known for centuries to be relaxing not only to small infants, but to grown adults as well.  You can use a swing, a rocking chair, or a hammock.  Try curling up on the floor, hug your knees to your chest, and slowly rock from side to side.
  2. Water Play.  Remember how fun it was to splash in the bath tub?  Put water play back into your life.  Try alternating hot and cold showers, Use a shower massage on different body parts and close your eyes to concentrate on the different sensations as you move around.  Take relaxation time in a warm tub and just yourself luxuriate.
  3. Mind Clearing.  Get comfortable, close your eyes, and relax your muscles.  Breathe deeply.  Tuck yourself in for a nap each day and enjoy the pause by turning off radio, TV, and phone.  It can be as brief as two minutes or as long as you want.

Mirror Affirmations
For more information on this technique, replay track 8.
Client follows directions in order to replace certain automatic thoughts and counteract triggers.

  1. Client stands quietly before the mirror and gazes into his or her eyes.  Client then repeats affirmation several times out loud.
  2. Client chooses a specific body part to praise and silently rehearses the "praise phrase" each time he or she approaches the mirror.  After a few weeks, replace the phrase with another phrase praising another part of the body.

Compassionate Image
For more information on this technique, replay track 9.
Client follows directions to improve self-image.

  1. Stand comfortably before a mirror and slowly scan your whole body as if your were seeing it for the first time.  Slowly let your eyes move from your feet upward, and ask yourself how you feel about what you’re seeing.
  2. Choose an area of your body that you like because you think it’s quite attractive.  Focus on it and admire this attractive feature.  Try to think of one word that best describes that part of your body.  Then close your eyes and visualize that part, just as it looks in the mirror. 

The Thirteen Commandments
For more information on this technique, replay track 11.
Client’s family members use the following instructions as guidelines to treating a BDD client so as not to exacerbate the symptoms of the disorder.

  1. Recognize BDD symptoms, take them seriously, and talk openly about BDD.
  2. Don’t discuss the "defect" or try to talk the person with BDD out of their beliefs about their looks.  This approach is never effective and makes everyone frustrated.
  3. Create a supportive home environment.  Help your family member with BDD talk about his or her feelings of anxiety and fear, without being judgmental or critical.
  4. Limit your involvement with rituals.
  5. Don’t give reassurance. Reassurance seeking is a BDD ritual and taking part only encourages the use of it. 
  6. Encourage better functioning, but also recognize the person’s limitations.  If your family member is in the beginning stages of his or her exposure program, do not force him or her to go beyond those stages yourself.
  7. Encourage participation in family events.
  8. Give praise for small gains.
  9. Look at the Big Picture.
  10. Limit angry outbursts.
  11. Take suicide threats seriously.
  12. Keep your family routine as normal as possible.
  13. Don’t blame yourself.
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