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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Meet the specialists

 

I have extensive training and experience in treating Trichotillomania and other BFRBs.

— Eryn Hicker, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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
 

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
 

Trichotillomania, nail-biting, picking, hair-pulling, tics

— Jordan Wolan, Hypnotherapist in Los Angeles, CA

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
 

I treat Trichotillomania and other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors using ComB (Comprehensive Behavioral Treatment of Trichotillomania), which incorporates cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, and habit reversal.

— Michael Greenberg, Clinical Psychologist in Beverly Hills, CA

Along with my training in OCD, I also have received training in the treatment of body-focused repetitive behaviors including trichotillomania and excoriation disorder.

— Kristin Fitch, Clinical Psychologist in New Orleans, LA
 

The Comprehensive Model for Behavioral Treatment (ComB) is effective in addressing these behaviors, and involves identifying your triggers, including situations in which you are most likely to pick or pull, sensory cues and related intrusive thoughts. We then develop and try out an alternative plan and track the effectiveness of this approach. Together, we can develop a sustainable plan to help you best surf the urges to pick and pull.

— Lisa Conway, Clinical Psychologist

The treatment of choice for BFRBs is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). There is a specific kind of CBT approach created for BFRBs called the comprehensive behavioral treatment (ComB). At the beginning of treatment, I will walk us through an assessment to help both of us understand how BFRBs are impacting your life. You’ll learn about BFRBs, understand how to relate to BFRBs in a more empowered, compassionate way, and use individualized strategies that we will create together.

— Andrea Millen, Clinical Psychologist in Portland, OR
 

Trichotillomania (hair pulling) and excoriation disorder (skin picking) can cause sufferers to feel isolated and lost. I can help get you on the road to recovery.

— Lauri Shedd, Clinical Social Worker in St Louis, MO

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
 

I have expertise in the treatment of BFRBs, including hair pulling and skin picking. I use the research supported Combined Behavioral (Com-B) methods for treatment of these difficulties. Together, we determine the cues and drives for these behaviors and seek to meet needs in a less harmful and more productive way through satisfying sensory needs and emotion management strategies.

— Kimberly Dwyer, Clinical Psychologist in Centennial, CO

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

— Christine Block, Clinical Social Worker in Houston, TX