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  • The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program at Rhode Island Hospital

Rhode Island HospitalCenters & Services › Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program

  • Body Image Program

    Katharine Phillips, MD, discusses
    body dysmorphic disorder on ABC's Good Morning America.

    Watch the video

    The Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Program at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University is one of the few specialty programs in the country for BDD.

    Body dysmorphic disorder is a common and often severe disorder. People with BDD are preoccupied with perceived flaws in their physical appearance, for example, the appearance of their skin, hair, nose or other body areas. BDD causes emotional suffering and usually interferes with a person’s day-to-day functioning. 

    The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Program at Rhode Island Hospital is directed by Katharine Phillips, MD, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Rhode Island Hospital is the principal teaching hospital of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Phillips and her team are internationally known for their pioneering research studies on BDD and their clinical expertise in this disorder. The program was founded more than 20 years ago. It was the first research and clinical program devoted to BDD in the United States.

    We are dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing BDD. We do this by:

    • Advancing knowledge about BDD by conducting scientific research on the disorder and publishing our findings in scientific journals. Much of our research focuses on developing new and better treatments for BDD. Our ongoing studies on BDD offer study treatment for people who qualify.
    • Providing expert clinical evaluations and treatment for people with BDD. Our clinical staff specializes in the treatment of BDD as well as other psychiatric disorders that frequently accompany BDD, such as anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.
    • Spreading new knowledge and getting the word out about BDD through books and publications in scientific journals
    • Doing presentations on BDD for professionals around the world
    • Educating the public about BDD through interviews in local, and national, print media and television
    • Educating students and trainees at Brown University and other colleges and universities about BDD by providing training and volunteering experiences in our program

    We also have expertise in olfactory reference syndrome (ORS). People with ORS believe that they emit a foul body odor. This disorder, too, causes emotional suffering and usually interferes with daily functioning. 

    Please contact us by calling 401-444-1644 or 401-444-1646 or emailing us at

    Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute

    The BDD Program is part of the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute (NPNI), which is dedicated to providing outstanding clinical care for patients with disorders of the nervous system and conducting world-class research in the neurosciences. The NPNI brings together physicians and scientists from Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Bradley Hospital, Brown University, the Brown Institute for Brain Science (BIBS), Butler Hospital and the Providence VA Medical Center.