Understanding, Assessing, and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Friday, November 9, 2018, 12:30pm – 4:00pm

"Understanding, Assessing, and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder"

Presenter: Ashley Hart, Ph.D.

Ashley Hart, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in cognitive-behavioral treatment of children and adults with anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), body dysmorphic disorder, and body-focused repetitive behavior disorders (such as hair pulling and skin picking disorders). Dr. Hart received her Ph.D. from Binghamton University, State University of New York in 2010 and completed both her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship in at VA Boston Healthcare System, where she received further training in evidence-based interventions for anxiety and trauma-related disorders. She subsequently joined the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program directed by Dr. Katharine Phillips (formerly at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, RI), where she contributed to several BDD treatment studies; her primary role was as the cognitive-behavioral therapist and study coordinator for a federally funded clinical trial testing cognitive-behavioral therapy for BDD. In 2013, she joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics. She continues to conduct research on and to provide cognitive-behavioral treatment for anxiety, OCD, and OCD-related disorders in youth and adults. 



La Maison Francaise/Salon, Assumption College campus - Directions


This workshop will provide an introduction to the nature, assessment, and treatment of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a common, often severe, and underrecognized disorder. Dr. Hart will explain the diagnostic definition, demographic and clinical features, epidemiology, and cognitive-behavioral model of BDD. She will discuss the difference between normal appearance concerns and BDD as a disorder of body image, and she will highlight the importance of recognizing and providing effective treatments for BDD. In addition to describing evidence-based methods of assessing BDD and its clinical features, Dr. Hart will review recommended clinical interventions for BDD as well as treatments that are contraindicated for BDD. Case examples and demonstrations of cognitive-behavioral treatment techniques for BDD will be provided. 


This workshop will help participants:

  1. Understand the nature, epidemiology, diagnostic definition, and demographic and clinical features of BDD.
  2. Distinguish between normal appearance concerns and BDD.
  3. Describe several factors that are hypothesized to contribute to the development and maintenance of BDD.
  4. Become familiar with evidence-based methods of assessing and treating BDD.