Learn about body dysmorphia
Most people are dissatisfied or self-conscious with some aspect of the way they look. However, if your appearance is causing you a large amount of distress and you spend a lot of your day worrying about it, then your concern may have become excessive. You may have noticed that much of your days are taken up with thoughts about the way you look, frequently checking your appearance in the mirror, or avoiding mirrors all together. The concern may be about a particular feature that you believe looks ugly or disfigured. If this sounds familiar, this could indicate some of the behaviours that are associated with body dysmorphia.
Body Dysmorphia refers to a distressing, continuous preoccupation with an apparent defect in one’s appearance. Some common focuses of obsession in individuals with Body Dysmorphia include skin appearance (e.g. scaring), facial features (e.g. shape and size of nose) or another body part (such as arms, breasts or buttocks). However, someone with Body Dysmorphia may have an obsession with any aspect of their appearance. Body dysmorphic disorder also affects women and men equally. For example, men may worry that they are not muscular enough (i.e., muscle dysmorphia) or that they are going bald.
If you have Body Dysmorphia, you may recognise some of the indications below:
Low self-esteem, depression, shame and guilt
Engaging in repetitive behaviours such as looking in a mirror, picking at the skin, covering up or examining the area of concern
Fear of being judged by others
Feeling self-conscious, not wanting to go out in public or have photos taken
Experiencing problems at work, school, or in relationships due to concerns about appearance
If you are overly concerned about your physical appearance, and it has begun to affect your daily functioning, it is time to consult a psychologist. Often people with Body Dysmorphia seek cosmetic procedures in order to ‘fix’ the perceived flaw, even after family and friends insist they cannot see the flaw. However, those who pursue treatments/procedures are generally left feeling worse about themselves or the preoccupation moves to another area of the body. Consequently, psychological support is crucial and should be sought.
Treatment by your someone.health psychologist will involve:
Reducing your negative thoughts about your appearance
Addressing the compulsive behaviours and rituals you use to lessen your anxiety – e.g. touching or checking a part of your body
Helping you to view yourself more holistically, without judgement and beyond your physical appearance
Exploring events or experiences which may have led you to become concerned about the body part in the first place
Working with you to decide whether medication is appropriate in your treatment
Body Dysmorphia Psychologists
Meet the someone.health psychologists currently available to see new clients for counselling for body dysmorphia.
Louise has gained a wealth of experience working with clients from a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, seeing clients ranging from school age to the elderly population. Louise is passionate about working with anyone experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, perfectionistic/obsessive, compulsive traits, sleep difficulties and interpersonal issues.
Jeanette has 27 years of experience as a psychologist. She has worked in private practice, as an Employee Assistance Provider (both internal and external) and as a teacher of counselling in a private counselling college.
Jeanette has gained a lot of expertise working in many areas of psychopathology over the years and continues to enjoy ongoing professional development, offering a service of value.
Fiona understands that there is a lot of research that indicates having a good & trusting relationship with your psychologist is as important as whatever treatment model they are using with you. She wants to make sure the time you have together in therapy is useful, impactful and enables you to achieve whatever ‘success’ looks like for you.
Eva has over 20 years experience as a psychologist and she is committed to making counselling therapy a compassionate and collaborative process, so you feel supported throughout the process. Conducting sessions with genuine positive regard each client is valued for who they are.
Belinda has completed a PhD and has published extensively in the academic literature locally and internationally and regularly attends conferences. Belinda trained in evidence-based approaches at the University of Melbourne, in particular CBT, Motivational Interviewing and Relaxation techniques. Belinda has experience in delivering assertiveness training and improving self-esteem.
With over 22 years experience as a psychologist and executive leader, Ross has developed a highly professional suite of organisational and clinical skills to provide compassionate, caring and committed evidence-based psychological services to individuals and couples that makes a real difference.
Chris has experience working with a diverse range of clients. This includes working with people with anxiety and depression, PTSD and trauma related recovery, relationship issues, family dysfunction, grief and loss, low self esteem and interpersonal difficulties and much more.
Dimple work with clients from different cultural backgrounds including children, adolescents and adults. She has extensive experience working with people having drug and alcohol addiction, depression, anxiety, perfectionism, low self-esteem, relationship challenges, development delays, workplace stress, and burn out. Dimple is multilingual and can support clients in English, Hindi, and Punjabi.
Areas that he has worked in extensively are treating Depression/Anxiety, Alcohol and Drug issues and Clients presenting with Employment and Personal relationship relationship issues.
He has a research interest in managing major mental illness through therapeutic treatment addition to medication. He also has an interest in Aboriginal and first nation’s health.
Ilan has over 27 years experience as a Clinical Psychologist and offers a nonjudgemental and confidential space on the telephone or via video for effective, practical counselling. Ilan has worked with all population groups including children, adolescents, men and women of all ages.
Wendy will work with you to develop the skills necessary to effectively manage challenges and enhance your emotional wellbeing. Wendy has developed methods that assist clients to empower themselves and restore their quality of life. She has seen first hand how patients become empowered with improved emotional intelligence and psycho-education.
Stephanie has had nearly three decades of working with a diversity of clients of all ages, issues and genres. Stephanie is keen to support you with with relationship issues, family issues, depression and anxiety, faulty thinking, self esteem, learning difficulties, stress, performance management and parenting.
Louise has extensive experience with children and adolescents but is very comfortable working with all age groups. Clients with issues in the areas of self esteem, stress, anxiety and depression, substance use issues and body/weight related issues would be assisted by Louise’s experience in these fields.