Dr Toni Pikoos, BSc (Hons), PhD (Clinical Psychology), MAPS

Dr Toni Pikoos is an accomplished clinical psychologist, researcher and public speaker. She has a PhD in the intersection of cosmetic procedures, mental health, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and patient satisfaction. Toni is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Swinburne University and also a practicing clinical psychologist in Melbourne, specialising in BDD and psychological evaluations for patients undergoing cosmetic surgery and non-surgical procedures. Toni is a sought-after speaker and educator, being invited to many national and international conferences to present on BDD and the intersection of psychology and cosmetic procedures.

Dr Pikoos has been involved in advocacy and consulting work to increase psychological safety in the cosmetic industry through her research and consulting with large companies such as Merz Aesthetics and Allergan Aesthetics, among others. She was also involved as a psychological consultant in the AHPRA review into patient safety in the Australian cosmetic industry. Through her social media profile, @thebddtherapist, Toni aims to increase public awareness around BDD and the psychological aspects of cosmetic procedures. 

Dr Toni Pikoos, Ph.D, MAPS


Rossell, S. L., Castle, D. J., Pikoos, T., & Malcolm, A. (2023). Body dysmorphic disorder and the ugly truth of Australian healthcare. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 00048674231169441.

Pikoos, T. D. (2022). The 4 ‘R’s of Referral – When saying no is in your patient’s best interest, Spa & Clinic91, 58-59.

Pikoos, T. D. (2022). Social media and mental health: Friend or foe?, Inside Practice Psychiatry3, 4-5.

Pikoos, T. D. (2021). Fixing the Invisible Defect: The Relationship between Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures (Doctoral dissertation, Swinburne University of Technology).

Pikoos, T. D., Buzwell, S., Sharp, G., & Rossell, S. L. (2020). The COVID‐19 pandemic: Psychological and behavioral responses to the shutdown of the beauty industry. International Journal of Eating Disorders53(12), 1993-2002. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23385

Pikoos, T. D., Rossell, S. L., Tzimas, N., & Buzwell, S. (2021). Is the needle as risky as the knife? The prevalence and risks of body dysmorphic disorder in women undertaking minor cosmetic procedures. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry55(12), 1191-1201. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0004867421998753

Pikoos, T. D., Buzwell, S., Sharp, G., & Rossell, S. L. (2021). The Zoom effect: exploring the impact of video calling on appearance dissatisfaction and interest in aesthetic treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aesthetic Surgery Journal41(12). doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0004867421998753

Pikoos, T. D., Rossell, S. L., Tzimas, N., & Buzwell, S. (2021). Assessing unrealistic expectations in clients undertaking minor cosmetic procedures: the development of the aesthetic procedure expectations scale. Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine23(4), 263-269. doi: https://doi.org/10.1089/fpsam.2020.0247

Malcolm, A., Pikoos, T. D., Grace, S. A., Castle, D. J., & Rossell, S. L. (2021). Childhood maltreatment and trauma is common and severe in body dysmorphic disorder. Comprehensive psychiatry109, 152256. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2021.152256

Malcolm, A., Pikoos, T., Castle, D. J., Labuschagne, I., & Rossell, S. L. (2021). Identity and shame in body dysmorphic disorder as compared to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders31, 100686. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocrd.2021.100686

Malcolm, A., Pikoos, T. D., Castle, D. J., & Rossell, S. L. (2021). An update on gender differences in major symptom phenomenology among adults with body dysmorphic disorder. Psychiatry Research295, 113619. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113619

Conferences and Talks

Dr Toni Pikoos has been invited as a keynote speaker to many national and international conferences discussing topics including:


  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • The psychology of cosmetic procedures
  • How to support and manage unhappy cosmetic patients
  • Identifying and managing unrealistic expectations
  • The ‘Zoom Effect’ – the impact of video-calling on our self-perception
  • The effect of technology and social media filters on body image and interest in aesthetic procedures
  • Working in a values-based framework as a cosmetic practitioner
  • Managing your own body image working in aesthetics
  • Aesthetic procedures in the age of body positivity
  • And more! 


Some conferences that Toni has been involved in include:


  • The Merz Aesthetics Expert Summit
  • REFINE (REgional Faculty INformation Exchange) for Allergan Aesthetics
  • New Zealand Society of Cosmetic Medicine Conference 
  • Australia & New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders (ANZAED) Conference
  • Appearance Matters Conference 
  • ‘The Fresh Life’ with Fresh Clinics 
  • ROAR with Venus Concept and Envogue 




My mission is to create a cosmetic industry where practitioners feel confident to talk about and support their patients with mental health or body image concerns, and patients know that both their aesthetic and emotional wellbeing is cared for.

Dr Toni Pikoos