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Controlling Trichotillomania

Cassie Ammerman, Publicity Assistant

Douglas W. Woods is associate professor of psychology and Director of Clinical Training at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Woods is a recognized expert in assessment and treatment of trichotillomania, Tourette Syndrome, and other obsessive-compulsive disorders. Michael P. Twohig is assistant professor of psychology at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. His research has generally focused on the treatment of OCD and OCD spectrum disorders such as trichotillomania and skin picking. This morning we defined trichotillomania. This afternoon we have some suggestions from Trichotillomania: An ACT-Enhanced Behavior Therapy Approach Workbook to help control the urge to pull hair while at home.

Stimulus Control Intervention Recommendations

In the Bathroom

  1. Keep the bathroom door open.
  2. Remove bright lights from the bathroom.
  3. Use a timer to limit amount of time in the bathroom.

Watching TV or Playing Video Games

  1. Sit in the middle of the couch or on a chair with no armrests.
  2. On top of the television place a timer that you have to reset by getting up every 10 minutes (to increase effort to stop and start pulling).
  3. Hold a furry object or stress ball in your hands.

Use of Mirrors

  1. Remove magnifying mirrors or lighted mirrors.
  2. Remove small mirrors from your purse.
  3. Cover mirrors in the bathroom.
  4. Limit use of mirror to 1 minute.
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