Treating BDD Together

Springfield Hospital

The Service for severe, refractory OCD and BDD at the Springfield Hospital part of the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) is piloting an innovative and fresh approach to treating by setting up ‘group treatment sessions’ to help people who suffer from the condition.

Bringing together people who have a range of severity of BDD has a number of therapeutic benefits - it allows patients to gain from others’ experiences, and it also gives them the opportunity to observe how fellow group members overcome difficulties, such as dysfunctional beliefs or low self esteem. For those with less severe forms of BDD it can help them to gain some important insight and hopefully motivate them to address their problems before it increases in severity.

Anusha Govender, psychotherapist said: “Setting up this pilot group is an exciting opportunity for my team to not only offer access to specialist psychological treatment for what can be a really debilitating illness, but it also allows us to further promote the early recognition of BDD. There is limited research into BDD so the findings from the treatment group will also be submitted for publication which I hope will be an important addition to the growing body of research into BDD and its treatment.”

The group sessions will start in February 2013 and recruitment and referrals for the groups is currently underway from all five of SWLSTG's boroughs via consultants, psychologists and IAPT teams across the area.

This pilot programme is part of a wider effort to increase access to specialist services for BDD and increase awareness and recognition of this often misunderstood disorder. Depending on the outcome of the pilot, the aim is to run groups in every borough the Trust covers.

Source: Trustwide, South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust membership magazine.

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