A 25-year-old assistant editor named "Audrey" with a history of trichotillomania since 11 years old came to treatment after a colleague embarrased her by pointing at the bald spot she created due to her endless pulling. She reported pulling every few minutes at home before work and at home after work, with over 20 episodes per day. She estimated that she pulled around 150 hairs per day every day, mostly at home. By the fourth session, she excitedly reported being pull free. But she reported that her hand would still "robotically" travel to her head. By the sixth session, she continued to be pull-free and reduced her automatic touching by 80%. At session 10, she was still reporting to be pull-free with no urge to pull and no touching. At one year follow-up, she remained pull-free.
A 44-year-old male reporter named "Harry" presented with a history of pulling his eyelashes, eyebrows, and chest hair that dates back 20 years. He also bit his lips and inner cheeks compulsively. He reported that his parents both had on and off issues with similar body focused repetitive behaviors, like nail biting and lip biting. He was overly concerned that there was little chance for him to stop pulling given his genetic makeup and biology. He reported touching his scalp and eyebrow hair daily and pulling 15-30 hairs a day. Fortunately, with excellent compliance using the habit reversal techniques he learned in therapy, he reached his goal of complete stoppage of hair pulling and nail biting by session 8. At his 2 year follow-up, he remained pull and pick free!
A 23-year-old fashion assistant named "Cheryl" started treatment with us after a 13-year history of hair pulling. She pulled her eyebrow hair daily and often relied on applying makeup intricately every morning before leaving her apartment. Like most people who struggle with TTM, she kept it a secret from her friends and family, including her boyfriend. She was desperate to get the problem under control by the summer time, because she can't swim with friends in fear of her makeup running. She showed significant improvement in the first month, had a slight relapse in month two and by the end of her 4th month, she was completely pull and touch free.
A 10-year-old boy named "Elvin" arrived to treatment with missing eyebrows and half of his head completely bald. He had been in treatment with another psychologist for a year, with limited success. He reported pulling on in school, in bed, in the bathroom, and while playing video games and reading books. His father would frustratingly yell at him to stop pulling or be punished. By the fourth session, he reported an entire week of no pulling and about a dozen urges a day. In the weeks that followed, he reported 2-3 episodes of pulling a week. By session 15, he was completely pull, touch and urge free. His mother often sends thank you emails annually to show how he maintained his progress even at a 5 year follow-up.