Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adolescent Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Jennifer L. Greenberg, Sarah Markowitz, Michael R. Petronko, Caitlin E. Taylor, Sabine Wilhelm, G. Terence Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The onset of appearance-related concerns associated with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) typically occurs in adolescence, and these concerns are often severe enough to interfere with normal development and psychosocial functioning. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for adults with BDD. However, no treatment studies focusing on adolescents with BDD have been conducted. The need for an effective treatment in this population led to the development of a brief CBT protocol with family involvement. The treatment focuses on enhancing an adolescent's quality of life through the reduction of maladaptive thoughts and behaviors, and incorporates skills training and parent training. Similar treatment packages have already been shown to be efficacious for children and adolescents with similar disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia. The following case illustrates the application of this brief CBT protocol for BDD in an adolescent, and highlights clinical considerations needed when adapting CBT for a pediatric population. Treatment was associated with clinically significant improvement in symptoms of BDD, self-esteem, depression, and quality of life. This report extends extant literature by suggesting that CBT may be a helpful treatment for adolescents with BDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-258
Number of pages11
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

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