Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Welcome! If you have found this page, you or somebody you love may be experiencing Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors, and would like to learn more. BFRBs include hair pulling (Trichotillomania), skin picking (Dermatillomania or Excoriation), nail biting, skin eating, hair eating, nail picking, cheek biting, tongue chewing and lip biting. There are promising treatments that have emerged, and I am honored to have been trained by the TLC Foundation for BFRBs in order to provide you with them.

Contact me at 785-477-9117 or for more information! Amanda can see residents of the state of Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Maine, Missouri, Michigan, and Florida via teletherapy.

Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Trichotillomania (hair pulling) and Excoriation (skin picking) are two common types of Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors. This category of related behaviors involves compulsively damaging one’s physical appearance or causing injury by repeatedly touching one’s hair/body.  The cause of BFRBs is unknown but can be exacerbated by anxiety, so it is not uncommon to see a diagnosis of another anxiety disorder along with Trichotillomania and Excoriation disorder.  Individuals will often report sensations at the site of pulling/picking, faulty cognitions and overwhelming emotions that lead to pulling/picking, and motor behaviors and patterns that lead to these habits.  My practice utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy, including  the Comprehensive Behavioral (ComB) Model and Habit Reversal Training to address these concerns.

Trainings & Memberships

Amanda Petrik-Gardner is a member of The TLC Foundation for BFRBs. Click HERE to see profile. Amanda has completed the Virtual Professional Training Institute through The TLC Foundation for BFRBs and has extensive training in both the Comprehensive Behavioral (ComB) Model and the Habit Reversal Model.

Free Resources for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Click on the following link to view FREE BFRB Resources from me to you. Stay tuned for more resources!

Pulling/Picking Log (Functional Analysis)
Activities To Occupy Hands
Free BFRB Facebook Group for Resources, Interventions & Ideas

Habit Blockers

The items listed here assist in blocking the hair pulling, skin picking, or nail biting.  They are especially beneficial for individuals that pull, pick, or bite habitually and are unaware they are doing it.  Utilize these items on your fingers or the site of the picking/pulling/biting, such as your fingertips, scalp, eye brows or lashes, or on your skin.

Rubber Finger Tips
Fingertip Grips
Fingertip Protectors
Surgical Tape
Head Bands
Eye Mask
HabitAware Bracelet (use this referral link for 12% off)
Nudge Band (use promo code “Amanda10” to receive 10% off)
Spiral Hair Ties

Sensory Stimulation

The items listed here assist in providing the sensory stimulation that one is seeking when they engage in hair pulling or skin picking.  The sensory stimulation may be from the site of the fingertips, the scalp, skin, eye brows, lashes, or lips (if you run hair through your lips).  Experiment with different items that provide you with the same sensory stimulation as you receive when you pull or pick.
For items from the Therapy Shoppe, use promo code ‘anxietyocd’ to receive 10% off on orders of $50 or more! Domestic orders only.

Hair extensions
Pipe cleaners
Play/Juggling Scarves
Metal Scalp Massager
Scalp massaging brush
Spiky Sensory Rings
Wide tooth comb
Pumice stone
Koosh ball
Silly Putty
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty
Corn Brush 
Spiky Tactile Glove
Wooly Fidget Brick
Soft & Spiky Sensory Shapes
Silky Ribbon Loops
Spaghetti Fidget
Finger Brush
Poke & Pop Waffle Fidgets
Simpl Dimpl Popper
Fidget Pop Tubes
Stretchy Strings
Chewing Necklace
Spiral Hair Ties
Sensory Bracelet
Makeup Brushes
Face Roller

Emotional Regulation

The items listed here provide an individual with a way to relieve different overwhelming emotions that could be increasing their hair pulling, skin picking, or nail biting.  These emotions could include stress, anxiety, sadness, anger and frustration, loneliness, disappointment, and more.  These emotional regulation items may be used when experiencing these emotions as a more helpful way to cope instead of hair pulling, skin picking, or nail biting.
For items from the Therapy Shoppe, use promo code ‘anxietyocd’ to receive 10% off on orders of $50 or more! Domestic orders only.

Stress balls
Wacky Tracks
Fidget toys
Marble Fidget Toy
Fidget Pop Tubes
Koosh balls
Silly Putty
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty
Sea Urchin Ball
Squishy Gel Bead Square
Snazzy Snappers
Porcupine Pencil Toppers
Poke & Pop Waffle Fidgets
Simpl Dimpl Popper
Stretchy Strings

Additional activities to improve emotional regulation include:

Diaphragmatic Breathing
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Talking With Friends/Family
Volunteer Work
Expressing Gratitude
Positive Visualization


Basics of BFRBs: Diagnosis and Treatment of Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Book Recommendations

Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors

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