Mental health professionals that deal with individuals suffering from this disorder need to educate themselves thoroughly with this particular disorder. One of the main complaints that a sufferer has is that there are very few professionals that are well versed in this particular disorder. Education is key to understanding a patient. There are several websites that are geared toward educating individuals about this particular disorder. It is also important to ask a patient if he or she has any other materials in which they would like you to read that pertain to their disorder.
It is crucial to understand as a professional that BIID is a disorder on its own and is not in any way a sign of an Axis II disorder or a sign of psychosis. Some patients may have co-morbid conditions but BIID is an entity on its own. As a mental health professional be forthcoming and honest with the patient about what you can and cannot do and what you do and do not know. A patient may expect for you to write a report about their BIID which may in turn qualify them for various case studies in which amputation may be the ultimate outcome. If as a professional you are not comfortable doing so then telling the patient early is appropriate.
Treatment for BIID is not necessarily to get the disorder to go away because the patient may always have the desire to become an amputee no matter how much psychotherapy they go through. It is more productive to figure out a way to improve the quality of life instead of figuring out a way to ultimately obtain a surgical amputation. Effective treatments for this particular disorder are rare outside of actual amputation so it is important to explore all of the resources that are available. It is important to stress to the patient that support from others is essential. Participating in groups with others that suffer from this disorder has been deemed helpful by BIID sufferers themselves.
Also encourage the client to think about the pros and cons of going through the amputation surgery. They may feel an immediate satisfaction from the surgery but there are other burdens that may come in result from a surgery. Financial costs, intimate relationships, career opportunities as well as many other things should be greatly considered before opting for the actual surgery. It is essential to have open and honest communication with the client no matter what the circumstances are.