BFRB SUPPORT GROUP
After sponsoring free Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior support groups for for the last decade, we are currently on a break as we look for a new meeting space. please bookmark this page and check back, or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bfrbsupport/.
You do not need to “Like” the page or even be a member of Facebook to view our posts. They are available to the public, and updated regularly.
Sponsored by Del Rio Therapy and Behavioral Health, San Diego. Led by licensed psychotherapist Tammy Fletcher, PhD, LMFT.
What are Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs)?
Chronic skin picking (also called Excoriation and Dermatillomania) and chronic hair pulling (also called Trichotillomania) are two examples of disorders that cause the person to compulsively inflict physical damage to themselves, often through grooming-like behavior. Other behaviors include nail biting, thumb sucking, cheek biting, nose picking, and more. The person may be relieving anxiety, may be bored or tired, may have family members who pull or pick – there is no single reason people develop a BFRB. Similarly, there is no one single treatment that can erase this behavior. It is vital when choosing a therapist for help with a BFRB, that the therapist have training and experience in this area.
Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors, or BFRBs, are a group of behaviors in which an individual compulsively causes damage to his or her own body. This may be through chronic skin picking, hair pulling, cheek biting, nail or cuticle picking/biting, or other similar actions. BFRBs are generally considered to be Impulse Control Disorders. In other words, the problem is chronic, the person has tried to stop or reduce the behavior without success, there is no other medical cause for the behavior, and it has caused significant distress for the person. BFRBs affect family and friends, as well, who often feel confused and helpless. There is help available for conditions like dermatillomania and trichotillomania. It can be difficult to find a mental health practitioner who understands how to treat BFRBs, and the condition doesn’t always respond to traditional “talk therapy.”
How does the therapist treat Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors?
At Del Rio Therapy, you can expect an individualized approach to your assessment and treatment. Marriage and Family Therapist Tammy Fletcher has a special interest in working with Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors. She practices Integrative Psychotherapy, which takes a holistic view of the client as a whole person. Dr. Fletcher not only assesses and treats the chronic behavior, she takes into account diet, activity level, the client’s support system, their level of stress, and utilizes a 360 Degree approach in tackling problems like trichotillomania or dermatillomania. You will learn tried and true tools for changing unwanted behaviors, but you will also look at factors like exercise, stress, sleep, and nutrition. Treating the habit only with behavioral therapy is not enough. Chances for success increase greatly when therapy addresses the person from a holistic standpoint.
Along with Habit Reversal Training (HRT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Exposure and Response Prevention, and where needed, family therapy, Dr. Fletcher offers an understanding and supportive space to reduce and eliminate these behaviors. Monthly support groups, up-to-date information on the treatment of BFRBs, and staying up to date in the field of BFRB research are a few of the ways we help people who want to stop pulling or picking.
We sponsor a quarterly Support Group in San Diego for adults with BFRBs – please bookmark this page for dates and information, or follow us at bfrbsupport on Facebook.
On my YouTube channel, I have produced numerous videos on BFRBs. Below are some of my videos, and I am currently working to develop educational materials for parents and family members.
Trichotillomania Learning Center – the place for comprehensive information on any Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior, news, research, events, support groups, trained therapists, and conferences.
Angela Hartlin is the author of Scars of Shame, and one of the best known advocates for people with dermatillomania and BFRBs in the world. Her site is SkinPickingSupport.com – well worth checking out.
Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Our entire BFRB playlist can be viewed here: