A 34-year-old named "Vanessa" who works as a manager at Sotheby's came in after a 24-year battle with hair pulling and a long history of nail biting. She saw Dr. Shinar on the Dr. Oz show and felt optimistic. She would pull her shorter hairs on her fingers creating a groove in her nail and then she would chew her nails in an attempt to make them look balanced or symmetrical. She bit her nails every day and would chew off the bulb of the hairs she plucked. After 9 sessions of habit reversal and stimulus control techniques, she reported about one week of no hair pulling and significant improvement in nail biting. She directly felt her success came from the motivational coaching by Dr. Shinar. By session 16, she reported 100% improvement in nail biting and hair pulling and only minimal urges. The urges ceased by session 21.
A 30-year-old business executive named "Laney" came in after struggling with a chronic nail biting habit since she was 5 years old. She reported that it helped her calm down during her parents' fights. She tried using nail polish and sitting on her fingers but nothing worked for her. Upon consultation, I saw that the damage was very extensive, leaving her with completely exposed nail beds with minimal nail left on her fingers. Her biggest concern was they wouldn’t grow back at all. On session five, she reported no biting at all and by session 7, she reported 80% improved with only a few biting episodes a week. By the 12th session, she had enough nail growth to plan her first ever manicure!
A 27-year-old kindergarten teacher named "Allison" had struggled with compulsive skin picking and nail biting for several years. Her behaviors caused significant issues in her relationship with her new husband because he would pressure her to stop without seeking treatment. She presented with scarred skin on her face, frequent acne breakouts, and damaged nails with damaged skin around them. Treatment began with tracking how, when, where and why she picked and she quickly learned how to use habit reversal techniques to gain awareness, have better control over her urges, and sit with the unpleasant feelings associated with the imperfections on her nails and skin. Within 4 months, she was able to completely stop picking her skin and biting her nails and her facial skin healed almost perfectly with no dermatological intervention.
An 8-year-old boy named "Harrison" came to treatment after struggling with scab picking and compulsive thumb sucking since he was 18 months old. Harrison picked at home and in school and made frequent attempts to even pick skin on his mothers back. He always picked and thumb sucked at the same time and felt he needed these behaviors to help himself fall asleep each night. Within 3.5 months, the habit reversal and stimulus control methods we implemented enabled little Harrison to be completely free of all his body focused repetitive behaviors.