Changing through thrichotillomania therapy, how does this work? Getting Better provides treatment for trichotillomania with a guarantee. Find out how we can help you to stop pulling out your hair.

When you are interested to learn how to stop hair pulling, you may want to know that we get this question from many of our clients and it is a very worthwhile question.

We asked it ourselves when we first started working with clients many years ago.

Consider this…

The doorway to finding trichotillomania treatment is realizing that change is always possible

Change is always possible, especially when one has an open mind when wanting trichotillomania treament. Change is a natural process much like the changing of day into night; the changing of spring into summer and the changing of one year to the next. So change is a natural process and is everywhere around us.

Having an open mind to change is one of the secrets to quick, yet permanent change. No one can make us change—we have to be motivated to change and usually that motivation is most strong when we don’t feel good about what we are experiencing.

Many people get “stuck” in their hair pulling disorder and because they try so hard to overcome it themselves, they come to believe that they can’t change. Why?Because they have been trying to change themselves for years and it has not occurred yet, so they conclude (wrongly) that change is not possible for them. And to a degree they are right because it is true that they haven’t changed!

How to stop pulling your hair when nothing seems to work

But ­why haven’t they changed and discovered how to stop pulling hair?

Because most of us have a certain automatic “strategy” that we use– and even though we may want to change– our strategy just keeps producing the same old thing.

We have become stuck in a particular repetitious behavior pattern or strategy of pulling out hair, even though we wish we wouldn’t be!

Let’s look at cigarette smoking—it’s something that we can look at objectively because it’s not the main topic of our website– but it has a very, very similar pattern to other compulsive, repetitive habits or behaviors, of which trichotillomania is one. It is pretty easy for non-smokers to be objective about smoking as a behavior and it will help us to recognize patterns or strategies.

Have you ever noticed before that smoking really is a repetitive behavior? Have you seen people who smoke one cigarette after another? What about chain smoking? That’s repetitive to an extreme! What is the strategy that triggers chain smoking?

Take a moment and fully consider it. What “makes” the chain smoker chain smoke?

Finding out your internal strategy for pulling out hair versus understanding why trichotillomania exists

Your internal strategy for pulling out hair – the mental steps you take when doing the behavior (often without realizing it in the moment) – is very important to find a cure for trichotillomania in yourself by breaking the pattern and finding a better alternative that serves you better!

When we as mental coaches find out the internal strategy of a chain smoker – the mental steps that person takes when actively doing the compulsive behavior, guess what we find?

The act of putting out the cigarette by tamping it out in the ashtray is actually the new first step that makes the chain smoker light up the next cigarette!

Think about that again because it’s different for non-chain smokers, they aren’t compelled to light up because they see their cigarette being put out, but the chain smoker is unconsciously triggered to smoke the next cigarette as soon as they smash the last one into the ashtray!

So it would be very hard for them to stop smoking because putting out one cigarette is the trigger to light the next one! Literally a never ending cycle.

Also a repetitive behavior such as smoking has some positives otherwise people would not do it. Imagine all the advertising and commercials that we see advising us that “Smoking is hazardous to your health.”

Don’t smokers see these things? Wouldn’t it make sense that if they saw or heard that smoking was bad for them then they would just quit? Doesn’t that make sense?

“Yes, it does logically but logic is not the controlling factor for a compulsive repetitive behavior such as trichotillomania and providing a cure for it!”

The positive benefits of smoking must be greater than the risk for people to keep the pattern going. What does that mean?

I once had a client who told me that a cigarette was literally his best friend: they went everywhere with him; were available any time he wanted them; woke him up; calmed him down; cleared his mind; stimulated his creativity and provided peace and quiet away from his busy world.

In fact this probably wasn’t the whole list but I think you’re catching on. Smoking served a purpose—a very positive one and that is why unconsciously he would grab a cigarette to wake himself up or to calm himself down—literally whatever he needed the cigarette fulfilled!

What all repetitive forms of behavior like a hair pulling disorder have in common

All repetitive forms of behavior / hair pulling disorders have this in common: at one time in the person’s life they served a purpose—they were helpful in some way.

“In fact so helpful that they repeated them time and time again until the pattern of pulling out hair with Trichotillomania became so automatic that it just kept going on and on—almost taking on a life of its own.”

However, at some point the flip side of the pattern comes to the forefront—the downside such as health issues, self-esteem issues, relationship issues—so that the old pattern which used to be helpful now begins to cause more problems than it’s worth! Can you believe that?

So again logically we would think: Well then just stop it—isn’t that what you would do? Well now for many people it’s too late to just logically will themselves to stop it because it’s a pattern that has lasted 5, 8, 10 or 15 years and it’s now hard for them to break on their own.

And that’s where a mental coach who provides treatment for trichotillomania comes in

This is where a mental coach who helps with treatment of trichotillomania comes in.

We are trained to find out the internal strategy that the trichotillomania client is using—just like the chain smoker above—but each client has their own individual strategy that we need to decipher and then we can help them to discover new more functional and positive choices that lead them in a positive direction.

At the end of the day our work is successful when the client realizes that change is empowering and much easier than they thought. We help them to create a positive strategy that now becomes such a strong habit that it’s truly a permanent change.

Then you never know how far a change will go….

To your success on all levels,


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Julie Silverthorn is responsible for the US Branch of Treatment for Trichotillomania - Getting Better to whom this website belongs. She is a warm and friendly person and very gifted with a natural love of people. She has great energy and a special knack for presenting information in ways that are easy to understand. Her students and clients love her natural optimism and their ability to learn and grow from her encouragement and teaching. She is also the co-author of the books Training Trances (multi-level communication in therapy and training) and Dreaming Realities (a spiritual system to create inner alignment through dreams). For more professional background info on Julie and her colleagues you can visit her profile page or the international team page.