Director, Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program, Rhode Island HospitalDirector of Research for Adult Psychiatry, Rhode Island HospitalSenior Research Scientist, Rhode Island Hospital
Katharine Phillips, MD is an internationally recognized expert on body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). She has dedicated her professional life to BDD. Phillips started studying BDD, as well as evaluating and treating people with BDD, more than 20 years ago, before BDD was recognized by most professionals or the public. Her pioneering research and clinical work has identified symptoms of BDD, how BDD affects people’s lives, other problems and symptoms that people with BDD often have, and many other aspects of this disorder. She has done research on identifying and developing effective treatments for BDD—both medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Phillips’ research on BDD has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Mental Health since 1995. She has also conducted research on olfactory reference syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other disorders. She has more than 250 scientific publications and she has written a number of books on BDD for professionals and the public. She wrote the first and most comprehensive book on BDD, The Broken Mirror: Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder, published by Oxford University Press in 1996. This book was revised and expanded in 2005. In 2009, she published an updated book that is geared more toward the public, Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder: An Essential Guide, published by Oxford University Press. Phillips also co-authored a book on BDD and other body image problems in men and boys, The Adonis Complex: How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Body Obsession in Men and Boys, published by The Free Press in 2002. She is co-author of a cognitive-behavioral therapy manual for therapists to use when treating people with BDD, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Body Dysmorphic Disorder, published in 2012.
To spread the word about BDD to professionals and the public, Phillips has given more than 400 invited presentations around the world and has done hundreds of media interviews. These include interviews in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Time. She has appeared on many radio and television shows, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show, CNN, Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, National Public Radio and 20/20.
Phillips has received numerous honors and awards for her research on BDD, research mentoring and other academic accomplishments, including a Special Presidential Commendation from the American Psychiatric Association for her research on BDD.
Phillips is a member of many editorial boards of professional journals. She is on the scientific advisory boards of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the International OCD Foundation and the Canadian Institute for Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. From 2002-2006, she chaired the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interventions Research Review Committee (Scientific Review Group). Phillips is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, a member of the American College of Psychiatrists and a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. She has repeatedly been included in Who’s Who, Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors, and Best Doctors in America.
Phillips is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School. She completed her psychiatry residency at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
Read Katharine Phillips' curriculum vitae
Listen to a podcast with Katharine Phillips, MD
Rachel Simmons, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist who received her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. She completed her predoctoral internship at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and her postdoctoral fellowship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College. Simmons specializes in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, as well as body image issues such as BDD. She has extensive training in cognitive-behavioral therapy and couples therapy. Simmons’ research background is in the area of relationship health, and she is interested in how close relationships can contribute to the development, maintenance, and treatment of BDD.
Rebecca Swenson, PhD is a staff psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor (research) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Swenson's specialties include prevention research, intervention development, health disparities and sexual health. She did her undergraduate work at Kalamazoo College in Michigan and her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University at Albany, New York. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology in the Brown University department of psychiatry and Human Clinical Psychology Training Consortium. Swenson has been involved in several major projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health aimed at reducing risk behaviors among adolescents with psychiatric disorders. She has a particular interest in health disparities and the impact of culture and context on engagement in risk behaviors and healthcare-seeking among underrepresented populations.
William Menard received his bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and has worked with Phillips’ research team since 2000. He has interviewed hundreds of people with BDD for our program’s research studies. He supervises and works on many of our research studies and conducts a portion of our program's evaluation service. In addition, he oversees the day-to-day operation of our program. He has co-authored many publications on BDD and is primarily interested in helping people with BDD get better.
Joseph Donahue received his bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in 2010. Currently, Donahue assists in ongoing research projects, including acting as the main liaison for individuals interested in joining a study and for those who are currently participating in one. Prior to the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program, he worked as a community health/youth development volunteer in Morocco with the U.S. Peace Corps. He is primarily interested in learning about body image concerns and issues with a goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.
Senior Statistician, Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program, Rhode Island Hospital
Director and Senior Research Scientist, Decision Sciences Institute (affiliated with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation)
Robert Stout, PhD is the BDD Program’s senior statistician. He is a mathematical psychologist who received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1974. He is a charter member of the Society for Mathematical Psychology. Stout has been principal investigator on several addictions research projects and has been senior investigator on many more, including Project MATCH. His research interests include the quantitative study of clinical and policy decision making, managed care, quantitative modeling of long-term treatment outcome and treatment research methodology. Stout's primary current study is an NIAAA-funded health services study titled Case Monitoring for Alcoholics: Health Costs. Stout also serves as senior statistician/co-investigator on studies of other psychiatric disorders. He has been a member of study sections for NIH and NIAAA and has also served on a number of committees for NIDA and NSF.
Statistician, Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program, Rhode Island Hospital
Eugene Quinn, PhD consults with the BDD Program on data analysis, programming, methods and manuscript writing. He has worked in industry for more than 25 years in various capacities. He was a biostatistician at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a statistical analyst at a health insurance company, an applications programmer, a systems programmer, a computer capacity planner and a technical support project manager. While a graduate student in statistics, he collected and coded data on fatal traffic accidents for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Supportive Psychotherapist, Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program, Rhode Island Hospital
Clinical Social Worker, Emergency Department and Inpatient Psychiatric Units, Rhode Island Hospital
Prior to working at Lifespan, Cragan was employed at The Kent Center for 18 years, working with adults living with chronic and persistent mental illness in both the residential program and at the Clubhouse (vocational / recovery services). She has given presentations on the Clubhouse model of recovery and received the “Heroes in the Fight” award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness in 2007. Cragan played an integral part in the development and founding of Harbor House, the first independent Clubhouse program in Rhode Island in 2010. Cragan received her Master’s degree at Rhode Island College, completing her internship in the emergency department and medical floors at Rhode Island Hospital. Her current area of interest includes understanding the similarities and differences between BDD, OCD and hoarding disorder, and offering evidence-based treatments for these disorders.
Sara Fortin is a graduate of Smithfield High School and attended the University of Maine at Farmington. She came to the BDD Program with over 14 years of experience in medical office administration. She obtained her associate of arts degree in healthcare administration from the University of Phoenix and her bachelor of arts in healthcare administration from Kaplan University. Fortin also completed her licensure in phlebotomy and EKG from Healthcare Training School in Fall River, MA. She has maintained her yearly national certification through the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT) since 2010.
Jordan Shaw is a senior at Brown University. She is working with the BDD Program and the department of neuroscience at Brown on one of our visual processing studies. Having previously been involved in research at the California Institute of Technology and Washington University in St. Louis, Shaw is interested in conducting neuroscience research that can be used to advance psychiatry and better our understanding of mental illness from patients' perspectives.