Skin Picking and Hair Pulling Log to Better Understand the Behavior

It’s difficult to control a behavior when you don’t always realize when or why it happens. Skin picking and hair pulling are often habitual, and can happen both consciously and unconsciously. People often tell me that they have been picking or pulling for so long they do it without even thinking about it. Many describe a trance-like state in which …

Overcoming Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety is an important survival mechanism. It can prevent us from literally walking into the lion’s den. But what happens when we fear something that is not an actual threat to our survival? Anyone familiar with anxiety is aware of the uncomfortable feelings that can include a racing heartbeat, tight muscles, excessive sweating, difficulty swallowing, dizziness and shortness of breath. …

Treating Skin Picking

When treating skin picking, also known as excoriation or dermatillomania, it’s important to recognize that it can be both a behavioral problem and an emotional problem, and both need to be treated. In my experience it works best to use a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, habit reversal training, mindfulness, and psychodynamic therapy. We want to address both the act …

Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Skin Conditions

The skin is the largest organ in the body and an important barrier between the internal and external environment. The experience of a skin condition is subjective, not objective. Three different people with the same skin condition may well report three completely different experiences. The clients I work with have vastly different experiences with their skin conditions depending on their …