Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy to help overcome body dysmorphia
Body Dysmorphia is a subset of OCD and considered by some an eating disorder. Both men and women can suffer from the disorder equally. It can trigger if a person lacks self-esteem. They may believe their body is too big or small, or too muscly or not enough. It can lead to unhelpful behaviours such as gazing in the mirror for hours. Sometimes it can be lack of muscle which causes young men particularly to take steroids and over body build. Sometimes it can be an obsession with a part of the body such as the nose or mouth. Even after cosmetic surgery, they are never happy – sounds a bit like Michael Jackson!
To help change the cycle we need to lower the anxiety. Hypnotherapy can help the person gain more control over the condition. We can move clients forward and break out of the cycle which is keeping them trapped by their obsession.
Solution-focused therapy for Body Dysmorphia
Solution-focused therapy can help people focus on the goal of leading a normal life. By looking at what their lives would be like if they didn’t have the problem they can come up with a set of goals to aim for and find solutions to overcome the setbacks.
Hypnotherapy for Body Dysmorphia
Hypnotherapy can address the subconscious response which triggers the behaviour. Focusing on meeting one’s needs and allowing the person to come up with ways they can control the habits allow the person to change and gain more control.
CBT for Body Dysmorphia
CBT looks at where, when, what and why they are behaving in that way. Assumptions of behaviour are tested by creating experiments. This can help prove something is just the way they imagine it, or something else completely. It could be for example that they think everyone who looks at them is thinking negatively towards them. As a result, trying out different behaviour, such as smiling at these people, can make someone realise that they may not be thinking anything negative at all.
BWRT for Body Dysmorphia
An event can trigger body dysmorphia. An unkind word by someone who means a lot to a person or an off the cuff remark for example. BWRT can help change the response. Instead of perhaps running off to the bathroom where they will spend ages grooming, they can come up with a more preferred response to divert the cycle.
Mindfulness for Body Dysmorphia
Allowing ourselves to be present in the moment, consequently not let intruding negative thoughts upset us. Gaining more control over the habits employed. Different types of mindfulness exercises are available. The Body Scan focuses the attention on the body. Consequently this problem can be turned around, focusing away from the body to the space around us.
Nutritional Therapy for body dysmorphia
Body dysmorphia is a subset of OCD and therefore a mental problem. A person not being happy with their body may be the cause. Due to this, they may also have other eating disorders such as anorexia or orthorexia. Consequently, they may need nutritional advice to make sure they are eating healthily.
If you or your family have been affected by body dysmorphia disorder and need support I suggest contact http://bddfoundation.org/
Penny Ling is a widely experienced hypnotherapist who has worked with everyone from top executives to stroke victims since 2007. She has been editor of Hypnotherapy Today Magazine and is a supervisor and mentor for members of the AfSFH and NCH.
Read Penny’s inspiring story “How I beat all my phobias”, or find out more how hypnotherapy could help your problem by downloading “How Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help with life”. Feel free to send Penny a message here.