Unrealistic Cosmetic Patients and Dissatisfaction - Identifying the Warning Signs

Presenter: Dr Ben Buchanan

Dr Ben Buchanan is a clinical psychologist who works exclusively with people with body image and anxiety disorders, including Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). He career has focussed on the intersection between BDD and cosmetic procedures, including how to predict dissatisfaction among cosmetic procedure clients. He is the co-author of the Cosmetic Readiness Questionnaire, widely used in cosmetic settings.


Presenting to dermatologists and cosmetic nurses, Dr. Buchanan explains psychological risk factors that predict dissatisfied patients. 

Cosmetic Consumer Psychology: Dr. Buchanan discusses the motivations behind seeking cosmetic procedures, emphasising that satisfaction with one’s appearance is more psychological than directly related to actual looks.

Self-Discrepancy Theory: This theory explains that dissatisfaction arises from the gap between one’s perceived self and ideal self, often exacerbated by unrealistic standards set by social media and other influences.

Perception and Influence: People’s perception of their attractiveness is often inaccurate and influenced by societal and media portrayals. Exposure to idealized images can skew one’s self-image and expectations.

Motivations and Expectations: The motivations for cosmetic procedures are not solely about looking better but also include emotional and social wellbeing. Unrealistic expectations can lead to dissatisfaction.

Identifying Risks: Practitioners should look out for red flags such as unrealistic expectations, excessive social media influence, and mental health issues like Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

Positive Outcomes: Most patients experience positive psychosocial outcomes from cosmetic procedures, but it’s crucial to screen for and address potential psychological risks to ensure satisfaction.

Regulatory Guidelines: Dr. Buchanan mentions the Medical Board of Australia’s guidelines requiring practitioners to assess patients’ motivations and expectations, particularly for signs of BDD.

Screening Tools: He advocates for the use of screening questionnaires like the Cosmetic Readiness Questionnaire to assess patients’ psychological readiness for procedures.

The session emphasises the importance of identifying and managing psychological risks to prevent dissatisfaction and ensure positive outcomes for patients undergoing cosmetic procedures.

The presentation provides valuable insights into the psychological aspects of cosmetic procedures and the importance of thorough patient assessment to mitigate risks and enhance satisfaction.

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Price: $440.00