Characterized by tormenting obsessions associated with physical appearance, body dysmorphia (BDD) is considered to be similar to OCD and as such is recognized as one of the obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. Several million people in this country are believed to have BDD, and most first pursue medical treatment to correct the perceived flaw in their appearance rather than seeking psychological care. Any body part can be the focus of BDD, though most people with the disorder will focus on fears associated with features around the head or face, such as hair, nose, or skin tone. Complicating the clinical picture is the fact that approximately half of those with BDD may become delusional at times. As many as 25%-30% may make suicide attempts.
Like any condition, the severity of BDD exists on a continuum. It is not uncommon to encounter individuals with the condition who cannot work or effectively carry on relationships because of the troubling obsessions and time-consuming compulsive behaviors. Many of these people could be helped with proper treatment, as such does exist in the form of cognitive-behavioral therapy and medications. Tragically, many people experiencing these conditions go without appropriate professional help, as too few clinicians are familiar with the process of assessing for BDD and fewer still possess the skills necessary for treatment.
The primary focus of this workshop is to familiarize attendees with cognitive and behavioral manifestations of BDD, to explore etiology, and to thoroughly review forms of treatment. Specifically, medication, cognitive therapy, as well as behavior therapy in the form of exposure and response prevention, will be highlighted. Considerations for differential diagnosis, comorbid disorders, and resources for support will also be addressed.
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Scott M. Granet, LCSW, has been practicing adolescent and adult psychotherapy for nearly 30 years since receiving his master's degree at New York University. Known for his commitment to increasing professional and public awareness of OCD and body dysmorphic disorder, Mr. Granet has taught continuing education classes for JFK University, Alliant International University, the University of California at Berkeley Extension, the University of Arizona Extended University, Santa Clara University, The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, Professional Psych Seminars, MEDS-PDN, Inc., Cal State University at Northridge, the Family Service Agency of the Central Coast, The Chesapeake Health Education Program, Inc., The Rutgers University School of Social Work, and the Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research.
He has also written various articles, co-authored a brochure, "Ten Steps for Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Mental Health Practitioner’s Guide," presented on BDD at numerous U.S. and international conferences, and has appeared on national and local television and radio shows.
In addition to his clinical work, Mr. Granet is co-founder and former president of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation of the San Francisco Bay Area, a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing support to people affected by the obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. He also has participated on a San Francisco task force addressing the public health crisis associated with compulsive hoarding.
Mr. Granet is a clinical social worker with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, and in June 2008, he opened the OCD-BDD Clinic of Northern California in Redwood City. He has developed a treatment program that is effective within managed care restrictions and has written on the subject. He facilitates treatment groups for both panic and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, with the emphasis of each group being cognitive behavioral therapy. Mr. Granet helped to organize the first BDD conference in North America at UCLA in 2005 and presented again at the 2006 conference in New York at Hofstra University. Mr. Granet is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the International OCD Foundation, and the Trichotillomania Learning Center.