Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Welcome! If you have found this page, you or somebody you love may be experiencing a Body Focused Repetitive Behavior, and would like to learn more. BFRBs include hair pulling (Trichotillomania), skin picking (Dermatillomania or Excoriation), skin eating, hair eating, nail biting, 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 AmandaPetrikLCPC@gmail.com for more information!


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.


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
Bandaids
Surgical Tape
Gloves
Hats
Head Bands
Eye Mask
Habit Aware Bracelet

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.

Yarn/thread
Hair extensions
Pipe cleaners
Floss
Ribbons
Play/Juggling Scarves
Metal Scalp Massager
Scalp massaging brush
Spiky Sensory Rings
Wide tooth comb
Pumice stone
Sponge
Velcro
Koosh ball
Silly Putty
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty

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.

Stress balls
Tangles
Fidget toys
Marble Fidget Toy
Koosh balls
Silly Putty
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty

Additional activities to improve emotional regulation include:

Diaphragmatic Breathing
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Journaling
Exercise
Meditation
Yoga
Talking With Friends/Family
Volunteer Work
Affirmations
Expressing Gratitude
Positive Visualization


Book Recommendations

Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors

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