Body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB)

Body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRBs) refers to compulsive and repeated actions of self-grooming behaviors. This can include everything from biting your nails to picking your skin to pulling out your hair. Most of these behaviors are relatively common and, for most people, benign. However, when the frequency of these behaviors increases, the impact is beyond that of a “bad habit”. For example, conditions like trichotillomania (repetitive hair pulling) or dermatillomania (repetitive skin picking) can cause baldness or skin infections and affect an individual’s ability to work or socialize. If you are worried that your “nervous habits” are beyond your control, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s BFRB experts today!

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BFRBs can be driven by anxiety or neurodivergence and it's important to know the difference. Together, we will figure out the FUNCTION of your BFRB and pick the right interventions to reduce its destructive power while honoring underlying sensory needs.

— Katie Playfair, Licensed Professional Counselor in Vancouver, WA

BFRBs function differently in each individual. In some cases, it's harmless stimming but it can also progress to highly destructive habits. I use ERP and Habit Reversal Training to develop a treatment plan that respects folks' neurological needs for stimulation while reducing or eliminating harmful picking/pulling behaviors.

— Katie Playfair, Licensed Professional Counselor in Vancouver, WA

What would it be like to feel more in control of your BFRB? This is an area of difficulty I have extensive training and experience in. I offer both individual and group therapy for these treatment issues.

— Alison Schweichler, Counselor in Orchard Park, NY
 

I've completed advanced therapist training on treating this issue and sought out other relevant training and information. Rather than oversimplifying treatment by focusing on just getting rid of these behaviors, I work with my clients on exploring deeper unmet needs or relationship issues/dynamics that might be driving the behaviors. Our focus will typically include identifying what needs these behaviors are meeting, which might include sensory-related issues and/or underlying emotional needs.

— Nicole Powell Cantu, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have extensive training in treating Trichotillomania (Hair pulling disorder) and Excoriation Disorder (compulsive skin picking) in children, adolescents, and adults. I utilize a combination of evidence-based behavioral therapies and recognize that every BFRB is unique to the individual. I provide a gentle, encouraging approach to treatment. We explore not only the pulling/picking/biting behavior but the underlying feelings behind the behaviors.

— Rennie Volpe, Licensed Professional Counselor in Conshohocken, PA
 

Comprehensive Model for Behavioral Treatment (ComB) is an evidence based treatment for BFRBs and my approach in effecting long-lasting change and recovery. Coupled with a hefty dose of self-compassion and psychoeducation, we will dig deep into the behavior (whether it's skin picking, nail biting, hair pulling, etc) and assess all the functions it is serving and replace them with new strategies.

— Emily Weems, Clinical Social Worker in Houston, TX

I have specialized training in treating BFRBs, and have found a treatment approach that combines elements of CBT, ERP, HRT, and mindfulness to be very effective in treating these disorders. There is not a one-size-fits-all treatment for BFRBs, so it is very important to first understand why you are doing the behaviors or what needs they are serving.

— Laura Chackes, Clinical Psychologist in Creve Coeur, MO
 

Struggling with Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania), Skin Picking (Excoriation), or Nail Biting Disorder (Onychophagia)? Serving children, teens, and adults, I evaluate and treat in a collaborative way while incorporating Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) including ComB and Habit Reversal. If you are a parent of a child struggling with hair pulling or skin picking, I am here to provide support for you and help for your child.

— Barbara Baselice, Counselor in Allen, TX

While you may not know them by their formal name, Body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs), are recognizable as habits/behaviors that have gotten out of hand and that can seem very difficult to 'just stop.' Some of the more common ones can include pulling, picking, biting, or scraping one's hair, skin, or nails. I can help guide you through the treatment strategies to address these behaviors as well as the shame or stigma that unfortunately may sometimes accompany them.

— J. Oni Dakhari, Psychologist in Moorestown, NJ
 

Trichotillomania (hair pulling), dermatillomania (skin picking) Cognitive behavioral therapy, habit reversal therapy

— Christine Block, Counselor in Houston, TX