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[Podcast] Aesthetic consultations: Psychological conditions & body dysmorphia
In this latest podcast, Elena Currie (Co-founder, Aesthetic MET) talks about aesthetic consultations and how to manage the problem of psychological conditions and body dysmorphia among your patients.
Listen to the full podcast now:
A psychological focus is crucial to identify the drivers for patients wanting cosmetic procedures and to assess whether they are doing it for the right reasons. In the podcast, Elena talks about what body dysmorphia is and why it’s important for medical practitioners to keep it in mind as part of every aesthetic consultation.
Body dysmorphia is an imagined defect or a completely distorted perception a person possesses about their physical appearance. This is a diagnosed psychiatric disorder with compulsive behaviours, rather than simply a poor body image. Patients with body dysmorphia may change clothes often throughout the day or wear loose clothing to camouflage their perceived flaw; they may wear excessive make-up or check their reflection in a mirror repeatedly throughout the day.
Elena believes that medical practitioners in the aesthetic industry have a duty of care to guide patients with body dysmorphia in the right direction. Studies have shown that only about 3.6 per cent of people with this condition actually have an improvement in their symptoms following a cosmetic procedure.
It’s important for practitioners to screen patients for symptoms or compulsions of body dysmorphia during an aesthetic consultation, because treating these patients can lead to dissatisfaction from the patient as well as aggression and abuse towards the practitioner.
Elena gives practical advice for the questions practitioners can ask during aesthetic consultations and what to keep in mind, including understanding patients’ mental and emotional health. She also discusses the mistakes to avoid when conducting an aesthetic consultation, including poor communication and pointing out patients’ flaws rather than strengths.
The podcast also covers how practitioners can create an environment of trust and set appropriate expectations for their patients.