Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Friday, March 8, 2019 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

NYU Silver School of Social Work 
1 Washington Square North
New York, NY 10003

NYSED and ACE Approved for 3 CE contact hours


Characterized by tormenting obsessions associated with physical appearance, body dysmorphic disorder is considered to be quite similar to OCD, and as such is recognized as one of the obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. As many as 3-5 million people in this country are believed to have BDD, though most sufferers first pursue medical treatment to correct the perceived flaw in their appearance, rather than seeking more appropriate psychiatric care. Any body part can be the focus of BDD, though most with the disorder will focus on fears associated with head/facial features, 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, and as many as 25%-30% may make suicide attempts. Although many people with the disorder may be dismissed as being vain, BDD is clearly a very serious psychiatric disorder with potentially life-threatening consequences. Attendees of this workshop will gain a thorough understanding of the DSM 5 diagnostic criteria for BDD, as well as the rationale for its inclusion in the new category of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. Symptoms most often identified, such as mirror checking/mirror avoidance, comparing and camouflaging will be reviewed, as will potential causal factors such as abuse, bullying and family dysfunction.

Treatment of BDD is similar to OCD in many respects and as such cognitive-behavioral therapy with an emphasis on exposure and response prevention strategies will be reviewed. Cognitive distortions and the importance of understanding core beliefs will also be addressed. However, BDD is not simply OCD about physical appearance. Other psychotherapeutic interventions can be very useful and will be discussed.

Learning Objectives


  • Identify five symptoms most often associated with BDD.
  • Explain two reasons for including BDD in the DSM 5 category of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders.
  • Utilize cognitive-behavioral therapy strategies in the treatment of BDD.


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Scott M. Granet, LCSW

Scott M. Granet, L.C.S.W. has been practicing adolescent and adult psychotherapy for nearly 40 years since receiving his master’s degree the New York University School of Social Work. 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, Cascadia Training in Seattle, 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., Cross Country Education, 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. In addition, he has presented webinars on BDD with Cross Country Education and GoodTherapy.org. He has also written various articles, presented on BDD at numerous U.S. and international conferences, and has appeared on national and local television and radio shows. Mr. Granet also has written a bi-monthly column, The Therapist’s Corner, for The Pilot, the community newsletter for Redwood Shores, CA. 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. His book, The Complete Workbook of OCD: A Step-by-Step Guide to Free Yourself from Intrusive Thoughts and Compulsive Behaviors, was published in 2018.

Mr. Granet is a clinical social worker in private practice and in 2008 opened the OCD-BDD Clinic of Northern California in Redwood City. He has facilitated treatment groups for both panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, with the emphasis of each group being on cognitive-behavioral therapy. Mr. Granet is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the International OCD Foundation, and the TLC Foundation for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors.