Psychedelic therapy for body dysmorphic disorder

Shevaugn Johnson, Chris Letheby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychedelic Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022


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