Therapy for Skin Picking/ BFRBs

presence-440262_640There are many therapies available for someone who has a Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior (BFRB). However, the current remission rate for these disorders are less than 5% due to its lack of recognition in the mental health communities and amongst the professionals who serve clients with BFRBs. Below is a list of evidence-based therapies that have been proven, when practiced by BFRB- trained providers, to be most effective in treating these conditions.

If you feel your current therapist is not helping you with your BFRB, please direct them here so they can learn how to acquire the proper training needed to assist you with your struggles. For a list of BFRB- trained professionals, visit the Trichotillomania Learning Center‘s website for more information. Successful treatment methods usually include a combination of:

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Developing the skill of non-judgmental awareness and acceptance of present-moment experience, including all of the unwanted thoughts, feelings, sensations, and urges that are at the heart of these conditions. the aim of mindfulness is to recognize and accept that these uncomfortable experiences are transitory and inevitable aspects of human life. From a mindfulness perspective, not accepting these unwanted inner experiences is the source of much of our self-induced suffering.                                                                               (source,

comB Model: See “For Professionals

Habit- Reversal Therapy (HRT): “[HRT] is focused on making you more aware of your picking patterns. Though some of those with compulsive picking disorder know they are picking every time they pick, there are others that perform the behavior mindlessly, without knowing it. HRT teaches you to be aware of when you are picking and how much you are doing it. A skin picking “log” or “diary” is a key part of HRT. In addition to a skin picking log, HRT encourages patients to utilize “habit blockers.” These are often used in conjunction with a log. At first, they might include things such as comfortable gloves. These provide a barrier between the skin and unconscious picking. As a person progresses, “fidget toys” might be introduced to keep the hands busy during times the picking behavior might otherwise be exhibited.”                                                                                                   (source,

Acceptance- Commitment Therapy (ACT): “… ACT sees our problems, challenges, psychological distress and discomfort as normal parts of human life. In other words, ACT does not pathologize any of these normal human experiences or assume that you are flawed, broken or diseased because you suffer. Suffering is a fact of life, and how you deal with your suffering is the key. ACT says that accepting that you will suffer is an important first step. Fighting against suffering only adds more suffering into the mix, making your situation worse, not better. It’s antithetical to what most of us believe. It’s radical, and it works. Accepting uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and sensations results in less suffering and discomfort.”                                                                                                  (source,