People who suffer from body related distress including body dissatisfaction, preoccupation with a perceived flaw in appearance (Body Dysmorphic Disorder; BDD) and would like to improve their condition by training daily, and people who already had treatment for BDD or related body distress and want to prevent relapse.
Group 1 will benefit from using the app as a therapy assisting tool. It can provide users with more information about body distress and preoccupation, as well as better understanding of how other people with similar difficulties think and feel.
Group 2 can use the app to review their learning in therapy and practice challenging their appearance related negative self-talk.
New findings support the effectiveness of the basic mechanism used in GG apps.
According to CBT models, negative self-talk – individuals’ ongoing interpretations of the self, others and the world – maintain psychological difficulties such as obsessive preoccupation, low mood, and maladaptive behaviors.
In body distress and preoccupation, for instance, individuals negative self-talk often relates to the over-importance of appearance to their self-worth, their being accepted or their success in life more generally. Individuals with such beliefs will continuously say to themselves (in their heads) phrases such as ‘I’m ugly’, ‘I have to look perfect’ or ‘I will never be accepted because of my looks‘.
The application is designed to:
(1) increase individuals’ awareness of negative self-talk.
(2) train individuals’ to better identify and challenge negative self-talk.
(3) increase individuals’ access to neutral and positive self-talk.
(4) increase the automaticity of the above processes.
To further strengthen learning of supportive self-talk, each level the player completes is followed by a small memory game in which one has to identify a supportive statements that appeared in the previous level.
Training using this application, will hopefully allow for gradual, steady learning of more positive self-talk thereby helping to break the vicious thought cycle maintaining appearance related preoccupation.