Body Image Difficulties

Feeling self-consciousness about one's appearance can be excruciating. At its most extreme, body image distress can also have serious effects upon our mood and personal relationships. 

What are Body Image Difficulties?

Body image difficulties refer to persistent feelings of unhappiness or dissatisfaction towards one’s body. Whilst body image distress is not a formal psychiatric diagnosis, it can still have a pronounced effect on relationships, mood, and day-to-day functioning.

Individuals who suffer from body image difficulties are often very critical of their appearance. This can lead them to avoid or feel very anxious in situations where their body is exposed or might be judged by others. Body shame may even lead to isolation and social withdrawal. Body image difficulties can also drive behaviours which interfere with daily functioning and, in the longer-term, can make dissatisfaction worse. These may include frequent body checking (for example, repeated looking in mirrors), body comparisons, seeking reassurance from others, and (in some extreme cases) “corrective” surgical procedures or self-harm.

Treatment for Body Image Difficulties

I am highly experienced in treating body image problems and building body confidence. My aim is to not only reduce appearance-related concerns, but also to help you develop a positive and caring relationship with your body. I do this by not only addressing body dissatisfaction but also the issues which underlie it.

Research indicates that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a very effective treatment for body image problems. CBT aims to reduce the patterns of thinking and behaving which maintain negative body image. For some individuals, early life experiences (for example, appearance-related bullying) may have contributed to the development of body image problems. In such cases it can be helpful to incorporate elements of other therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therpay or Compassion-Focused Therapy. Treatment will always be tailored to meet your individual needs.


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Dr Gabrielle Brady -Consultant Counselling Psychologist, Cognitive Analytic Therapist.

Clinics in London Euston, Mayfair and Online


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