Patient & Visitor InformationContact Us
  • The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program at Rhode Island Hospital

  • Our Clinical Services

  • Evaluation Service

    We provide expert in-person evaluations for adults, children and adolescents. Phillips has expertise in both cognitive-behavioral treatment for BDD and medication treatment for BDD. She has conducted the majority of medication studies for BDD and published the results in scientific journals. She also co-developed and co-authored (with Sabine Wilhelm, PhD, and Gail Steketee, PhD), a BDD-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) manual for therapists to use when treating people with BDD, and she has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health to study the efficacy of this manualized treatment. Phillips has evaluated and/or treated thousands of individuals with BDD. She takes a “holistic” approach in the evaluations, addressing important concerns and issues the individual may have in addition to BDD.

    Our one-time evaluation focuses on whether you have BDD, other psychological symptoms or problems you may have experienced, and treatment suggestions. If you aren't sure whether you have BDD, we can clarify this and give you feedback. Even if you've seen other treatment providers, it is likely that we can recommend potentially helpful treatment options.

    We also provide similar evaluation services for people with olfactory reference syndrome (ORS), a condition in which people are bothered by problematic thoughts that they emit an unpleasant or foul body odor.

    We will provide you with immediate feedback, answer your questions, and offer you treatment suggestions that are tailored to your individual treatment needs and specific symptoms. We will also provide you with a written report of our evaluation findings and treatment suggestions. With your consent, we will give this report to your treating clinician and discuss our treatment suggestions with him or her.

    Our staff and evaluation team members will help you feel comfortable in our friendly and relaxed environment. We understand BDD and know how difficult it can be to talk about BDD symptoms.

    Our evaluation service doesn't include treatment. If you are already receiving treatment, our goal is to enhance the treatment you receive by making helpful suggestions for your ongoing care. If treatment isn't available where you live, we will do our best to help you find someone to provide treatment. If you live near Providence, Rhode Island, you can consider whether you would like to receive treatment with us following your evaluation.

    We offer evaluations for BDD and ORS. The evaluation, which is entirely with Katharine Phillips, consists of the following:

    • An expert assessment of your body image concerns and other psychological disorders or symptoms you may have experienced, as well as other components of a standard psychiatric evaluation (such as a review of past treatment and medical conditions you may have).

    • Review of your past medical records.

    • A phone discussion with your current treatment providers before your evaluation (with your consent to do so), with the goal of enhancing your evaluation.

    • Feedback to you during the evaluation about your diagnosis and treatment options.

    • A written diagnostic evaluation report with treatment suggestions for your ongoing or future treatment, which is tailored to your specific symptoms and treatment needs. We will give this report to you; with your written consent, we will also send it to your treatment providers.

    • You are welcome to involve family members or significant others in your evaluation. When evaluating a child or adolescent, we will involve parents/legal guardians in some of the evaluation.

    There is hope for people with BDD! Certain treatments are often helpful for BDD and the suffering it causes. The treatments that appear most effective are cognitive-behavioral therapy and certain medications.

    Our expert clinical staff provides state-of-the art treatment for people with BDD. We also offer one-time expert evaluations, which include treatment suggestions. We additionally specialize in olfactory reference syndrome (ORS) and the treatment of other disorders that frequently co-exist with BDD, such as eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression.

    We are pleased to offer the following clinical services:

    Individual Therapy

    We use cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat BDD, which is the best-studied and most promising type of therapy for this disorder. We provide each person with an individualized assessment of BDD and other symptoms, and we develop an individualized treatment plan. We also diagnose and treat co-existing disorders. Length and frequency of treatment are typically determined by the severity of BDD and other symptoms. Our approach to treatment is encouraging and supportive. One of our staff psychologists, Rachel Simmons, PhD, is currently accepting adult and adolescent patients age 13 and older for individual therapy.

    Medication Treatment

    Most people with BDD benefit from treatment with certain psychiatric medications. Our psychiatrists are experts in treating BDD and co-existing psychiatric disorders. The medications that are currently recommended for BDD are the serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (also known as SRIs, or SSRIs). Certain other medications may also be helpful. Our psychiatrists offer an individualized assessment of BDD and other symptoms as well as an individualized treatment plan. Our psychiatrists work closely with your therapist (if you have a therapist) as a treatment team to provide excellent care. Our program's director, Katharine Phillips, MD, and staff psychiatrist Naureen Attiullah, MD are currently accepting adult and adolescent patients.

    Scheduling an Appointment

    Please contact us at 401-444-1644 or 401-444-1646 if you have any questions or would like more information about our clinical services. You can also email us at