Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Your relationship with your body is a critical component of your sense of self and your interactions with the world around you. Psychological illnesses and histories of trauma can deeply fracture that relationship, causing profound emotional suffering and disrupting your ability to perceive yourself in a realistic and healthy way. At Bridges to Recovery, we offer specialized treatment for mental health disorders with co-occurring body image disorders, to treat your complete range of symptoms and provide lasting relief. Using sophisticated, evidence-based assessment methods, our clinicians gain a comprehensive understanding of your psychological condition and tailor a treatment plan that addresses your complex needs. Through a personalized combination of individual psychotherapy, group therapy, and holistic therapies, you can disrupt your distorted self-image while healing from your primary mental health disorder. We integrate cutting-edge treatment modalities designed to augment your mind-body connection and establish a positive relationship with your physical self, through EMDR and Somatic Experiencing. In our nurturing therapeutic environment, you can move toward renewed bodily awareness, self-care, and psychological tranquility.

Towards Mind-Body Wholeness

Some degree of dissatisfaction with your physical body is common, a natural reaction to living in a body-conscious culture with impossible beauty standards. However, body image disorder–or body dysmorphia–goes beyond normal self-critique; you have a fundamentally distorted understanding of your physical self, and your perceived imperfections and deformities cause great psychological distress, often affecting interpersonal relationships and limiting normal function. Your impaired ability to accurately see and accept yourself can lead to unhealthy and drastic behavior, including disordered eating, risky cosmetic surgery, and damage to your social, physical, and occupational function. Body image disorder often co-occurs alongside a pre-existing mental health disorder and experiences of trauma that fracture the mind-body connection; it is imperative that both are treated simultaneously to encourage complete healing and ensure the roots of the disorder are addressed.

Symptoms of body image disorder include:

  • Obsessive preoccupation with your appearance, either as a whole or focusing on specific parts
  • Excessive time spent examining yourself in mirrors
  • Extreme dissatisfaction with your physical traits
  • Perceiving your body in a way that is disconnected from reality
  • Self-loathing and low self-esteem as the result of your appearance
  • Believing that others are staring at, judging, or disgusted by your perceived flaws
  • Avoiding interactions with other people due to anxiety about your appearance
  • Avoiding being photographed or looking in mirrors
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide as the result of your physical dissatisfaction

At Bridges to Recovery, our compassionate clinicians work with you to uncover the psychological and experiential origins of your distorted self-image and process the difficult emotions that inform your relationship with your physical self. We create an immersive therapeutic environment that supports you both emotionally and physically, to help you create mind-body unity through psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, and somatic practices. Our personalized approach allows us to modify our therapeutic modalities to your needs and comfort level, ensuring that you remain safe throughout the treatment process and develop the skills you need to replace inaccurate, damaging thoughts with healthy alternatives. By providing effective, comprehensive treatment for both your primary mental health disorder and co-occurring body image disorder, you can find relief from your pain and reintegrate with the world around you with new found confidence, self-awareness, and joy.