Therapy for Tics, Tourette’s, and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs)
Tics and Tourette’s disorder can be treated using a therapy modality called Habit Reversal Therapy (HRT). HRT combined with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is the gold standard for treating tic disorders. Termed CBIT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Intervention for Tics) this treatment helps reduce the negative impact that tics can have on an individual through education and the use of a Competing Response (CR). Stress management techniques, social support, cognitive challenging, and emotion regulation strategies are also used to support clients. CBIT is an evidenced based treatment for tics and Tourette’s Disorder.
Habit reversal is a technique also used for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs). BFRBs include any repetitive body behaviour that involves biting, pulling, picking, or scraping one’s own hair, skin, lips, cheeks, or nails. This repetitive behaviour can lead to physical damage to the body. The most common BFRBs include Onychotillomania (nail-biting), Dermatillomania (skin-picking), and Trichotillomania (hair-pulling). In conjunction to HRT, we use CBT and the SCAMP model to work through the sensory, cognitive, affective, motor, and place factors that influence the development and maintenance of a BFRB. Some people are frustrated by treatment ideas that tell them to simply create a barrier to stop the picking or pulling (ie. “just wear gloves”). This is often ineffective and clients need more support to be successful with behaviour change. In addition to HRT, we use what is called the SCAMP model, where we address BFRBs using sensory, cognitive, affective, motor, and place domains. By taking this holistic approach we can increase a client’s success with therapy. To learn more about SCAMP, see our newest blog post.
At Island Clinical Counselling in Nanaimo, we provide clients with individualized support, sessions for parents and caregivers, as well as group therapy options (support groups and educational workshops). We offer most of these services in a virtual format so that clients can attend from all over. In-person services are also available for local clients. Our next BFRB workshop will be held on October 16 and 23rd from 5-7pm online.