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PLEASE NOTE:  This event is over multiple days and ALL days must be attended.

Effective treatment for trichotillomania and skin picking disorder

Douglas Woods

5 Mar 2024


PLEASE NOTE:  This event is over multiple days and ALL days must be attended:

5th March 2023  -  13.30 - 16.30 hrs

6th March 2023  -  13.30 - 16.30 hrs

Trichotillomania (i.e., chronic hair pulling), skin picking disorder, and other body-focused repetitive behavior disorders (e.g., nail biting, cheek biting) are relatively common problems that affect both adults and children.  These behaviors, when severe can lead to significant psychosocial dysfunction and physical injury.  To date, few pharmotherapeutic options exist, but various forms of behavior therapy have been shown to be effective, with most focusing on habit reversal procedures.  Nevertheless, emerging models of these problems suggest that such procedures alone may not be sufficient given the emotion-regulation difficulties experienced by some and their relationship to pulling/picking symptoms.  To address these concerns, a procedure, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)- Enhanced Behavior Therapy has been created.

The event will be equivalent to 5.1/2hrs of CPD.


This workshop will teach participants to recognize, assess, and treat trichotillomania, skin picking and other body focused repetitive behaviors. After learning the diagnostic criteria for these OCD-spectrum condition, theories about its biopsychosocial etiology will be reviewed and procedures for assessment discussed. Next, participants will learn about ACT-Enhanced Behavior Therapy procedures designed to addressed both automatic and focused forms of the disorders. Using lectures and role-play demonstrations, patients will learn to implement habit reversal and stimulus control strategies for these conditions and will learn to implement the core elements of ACT that pertain to this treatment. Finally, participants will learn the data supporting the efficacy of AEBT and other therapies for these conditions.

Learning Objectives

1. Participants will learn to recognize trichotillomania and skin picking
2. Participants will learn to administer and score the MGH-Hairpulling Scale, and the NIMH-Trichotillomania Severity Scale
3. Participants will become familiar with the evidence base supporting behavior therapy for TTM
4. Participants will become familiar with the AEBT-TTM treatment protocol

Training Modalities

Training includes didactic content and Q&A.

Key References

1. Woods, D. W., Ely, L. J., Bauer, C. C., Twohig, M. P., Saunders, S. N., Compton, S. N., Espil, F. M., Neal, A., Alexander, J. A., Walther, M. R., Cahill, S. P., Deckersbach, T., & Franklin, M. E. (2022). Acceptance-enhanced behavior therapy for trichotillomania in adults: A randomized clinical trial. Behavior Research and Therapy, 104187
2. Alexander, J., Houghton, D. C., Bauer, C. C., Lench, H. C., & Woods, D. W. (2018). Emotion regulation deficits in persons with body-focused repetitive behavior disorders. Journal of Affective Disorders, 227, 463-470.
3. Haaland, A. T., Eskeland, S. O., Moen, E. M., Vogel, P. A., Haseth, S., Mellingen, K., Himle, J. A., Woods, D. W., and Hummelman, B. (2017). An open trial of ACT-enhanced behavior group therapy for trichotillomania. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 12, 109-116.
4. Woods, D. W. & Twohig, M. P. (2008). Trichotillomania: An ACT-enhanced Behavior Therapy Approach (Therapist’s Guide) New York: Oxford University Press.
5. Woods, D. W., & Twohig, M. P. (2008). Acceptance-Enhanced Behavior Therapy for Trichotillomania (Client Workbook). New York: Oxford University Press.

About the presenter

Dr. Douglas Woods is currently Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Psychology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. Prior to that he was Head of Psychology at Texas A&M University from 2013-2015 and held various faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1999-2013. Dr. Woods received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University and is a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin. Dr. Woods has authored or co-authored over 300 papers and 9 books and multiple grants for his work on tic disorders, trichotillomania, and other OCD-related problems.

Who should attend

This workshop is appropriate for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counsellors.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

Please click below if you are interested in contributing to the survey.


The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

View Survey

This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

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