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COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY FOR BDD: STARTING CBT FOR BDD

Once you decide to start CBT, there are a few things you and your therapist will do to lay the groundwork for learning the core CBT skills. These building blocks include (but aren’t limited to) the following:
1) Learning more about BDD and CBT: Your therapist will discuss BDD and CBT with you (i.e., provide psychoeducation) and answer your questions.
2) Developing a model of your BDD: It’s helpful to discuss your BDD symptoms in detail with your therapist so you can develop a model of how your symptoms seem to have developed and are maintained. You can use Figure 8 as a guide, filling in whether you experienced any life events that seem to have contributed to BDD, what rituals you do, what situations you avoid, etc. You and your therapist can use this model to help tailor the treatment specifically to you.
3) Setting goals: It’s important to set goals for your treatment—what you’d like to accomplish. This will help you and your therapist stay on track during treatment. For example, one goal might be to return to school. Another might be to go shopping during the day rather than only at night when fewer people are in the store. The more specific you make your goals, the better.
You’ll then begin to learn the core CBT skills defined above and discussed in more detail below. It isn’t known what’s the best order to learn them in, although some experts begin with response prevention or cognitive restructuring. Response prevention will probably give you some immediate relief. And learning cognitive techniques early in treatment may make exposure easier. It isn’t known whether all core aspects of CBT are necessary, or whether some are more effective than others. Usually, they’re all combined. Until research is done which answers these questions, it’s probably best to learn all the core skills, as well as some additional skills such as habit reversal (for skin picking), refocusing, and mirror retraining.
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COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY FOR BDD: STARTING CBT FOR BDDOnce you decide to start CBT, there are a few things you and your therapist will do to lay the groundwork for learning the core CBT skills. These building blocks include (but aren’t limited to) the following:1) Learning more about BDD and CBT: Your therapist will discuss BDD and CBT with you (i.e., provide psychoeducation) and answer your questions.2) Developing a model of your BDD: It’s helpful to discuss your BDD symptoms in detail with your therapist so you can develop a model of how your symptoms seem to have developed and are maintained. You can use Figure 8 as a guide, filling in whether you experienced any life events that seem to have contributed to BDD, what rituals you do, what situations you avoid, etc. You and your therapist can use this model to help tailor the treatment specifically to you.3) Setting goals: It’s important to set goals for your treatment—what you’d like to accomplish. This will help you and your therapist stay on track during treatment. For example, one goal might be to return to school. Another might be to go shopping during the day rather than only at night when fewer people are in the store. The more specific you make your goals, the better.You’ll then begin to learn the core CBT skills defined above and discussed in more detail below. It isn’t known what’s the best order to learn them in, although some experts begin with response prevention or cognitive restructuring. Response prevention will probably give you some immediate relief. And learning cognitive techniques early in treatment may make exposure easier. It isn’t known whether all core aspects of CBT are necessary, or whether some are more effective than others. Usually, they’re all combined. Until research is done which answers these questions, it’s probably best to learn all the core skills, as well as some additional skills such as habit reversal (for skin picking), refocusing, and mirror retraining.*297\204\8*

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