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 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.
Chiara is an experienced clinical psychologist wiith experience working with a diverse range of patients, including adults, migrants, Indigenous population and CALD people. Chiara will help you to disarm your ‘inner critic’ – the self-limiting voice that undermines our true capabilities and potential. Chiara works with you collaboratively and transparently, focusing on your strengths and teaching skills to help you to tackle challenges and work toward valued life goals.
Tim cringes when thinking about traditional, clinical styles of therapy, so instead he’s committed to treating you as a real person and working together to help you live your best life. Tim has a keen interest in working with people experiencing anxiety, trauma, perfectionism, procrastination, body image concerns, low self-esteem and interpersonal difficulties.
Viviana has completed a Bachelor of Psychology, a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology, a Masters in Clinical Psychology and more recently has completed a Bachelor of Law. She has been trained to use evidence based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Teresa’s approach is compassionate, open-minded, and collaborative – she employs various strategies and techniques that will best suit you as an individual. Teresa has broad experience with a range of difficulties including anxiety, OCD, depression, LGBTQ concerns, PTSD, addiction, ADHD, NDIS, eating disorders, grief and loss, stress & anger management, violence or family trauma, personality disorders, career & couples counselling.
James’ approach to mental health is about mind-body integration and looking at the “whole person”. Mental health influences how we feel, think and move, how we communicate and relate to the world, and can seriously impact our physical health. James will hep make sense of how this all fits together, to explore unhelpful thoughts and behaviour, and identify different options.
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.
Jennifer has more than 25 years of experience and works with people experiencing low self esteem, anxiety or interpersonal difficulties as well as those experiencing parenting concerns, disordered eating or workplace challenges. She is experienced in many areas including helping people move through the challenges of relationships both in their personal life and in the workplace.
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.
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.
Stephanie has an eclectic non-judgemental view and extensive compilation of therapeutic tools to support you in becoming your best self. Stephanie has had nearly three decades of working with a diversity of clients of all ages, issues and genres. She connects with a genuine no-nonsense approach with her clients.
Manya is experienced in helping people change behaviours that form part of a chronic condition whether physical or psychological. These changes include becoming more physically active and fit; pain management; feeling in control of your eating; the moderate consumption of alcohol; and cessation of smoking & problem gambling. She also has extensive experience helping people exit a substance abuse lifestyle.
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.
Sue is a trained community psychologist, supervisor and a mother of three teens certificated in delivering parenting training. Sue is committed to assisting people in all walks of life to achieve their full potential. Her areas of interest range from mood disorders, including post natal depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, personality disorders and psychotic illnesses.