This paper (2022) makes the case for using psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (PAP) for the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Preliminary evidence suggests the safety, feasibility, and potential efficacy of psychedelic treatments in disorders that share similar psychopathological mechanisms with BDD. A Phase II study is suggested with thoughts on how to proceed with this research.
“In this opinion piece, we propose the investigation of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD is a psychiatric disorder characterised by appearance-based preoccupations and accompanying compulsions. While safe and effective treatments for BDD exist, non-response and relapse rates remain high. Therefore, there is a need to investigate promising new treatment options for this highly debilitating condition. Preliminary evidence suggests safety, feasibility, and potential efficacy of psychedelic treatments in disorders that share similar psychopathological mechanisms with BDD. Drawing on this evidence, as well as on relevant qualitative reports and theoretical proposals, we argue that it would be worthwhile to conduct a phase 2a study aimed at assessing the safety and feasibility of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in BDD. We also offer some suggestions for how future research ought to proceed.”
Authors: Shevaugn Johnson & Chris Letheby
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Journal of Psychedelic Studies
May 26, 2022
Authors associated with this publication with profiles on BlossomChris Letheby
Chris Letheby is a philosopher that studies the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. He is currently a lecturer in philosophy and a postdoc at the University of Adelaide.