Hair-pulling, skin picking, and cheek, lip, & cuticle biting are self-soothing strategies that depending on degree can become body-focused repetitive behavioral disorders. Learn about a new attachment-informed psychodynamic model for treating these painful, shame-associated behaviors.
While we may not be fully aware when we are pulling and picking, these sorts of unconscious behaviors can be an indicator of dysregulation. Outside factors such as our environment, upbringing, and various traumas can all play a role in these self-soothing behaviors. Stacy Nakell has been an active researcher and pioneer in this field, and has dedicated years to understanding and educating others on how to abandon shame and treat these behaviors. By blending attachment theory and neurobiological research, Nakell has helped rewire the ways in which we navigate these behaviors and brought forward new perspectives like viewing BFRBDs on a continuum and how these overlap with body dysmorphic disorders.
Stacy Nakell's book Treatment for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors is the first to establish the theory and practice of a psychodynamic approach to treating body-focused repetitive behavior disorders. Follow along as Sue and Stacy discuss the misconceptions, treatments, and science to better manage these behavioral patterns.
“It's important to look from an in-depth perspective… to really get into the roots and understand what's driving the behavior” – Stacy Nakell
Time Stamps for Healing BFRBDs
2:02 – Introduction to trichotillomania
7:26 – When these behaviors are considered a “disorder”
9:36 – The role of shame in repetitive behavioral patterns
11:56 – Are BFRBD's considered self-harm?
13:33 – The overlap with body dysmorphic disorders
17:36 – Correlation between grooming and BFRBDs
21:08 – Perfectionism's influence on BFRBDS
22:54 – The role of aggression in BFRBDs
31:14 – Metaphor of the stress cup
41:28 – Analysis of “psychic skin”
Resources for Healing BFRBDs
Pop Culture Storyline Reference
Zoobiguity – Barbara Natterson-Horowitz
About Stacy Nakell
Stacy Nakell is a psychotherapist in private practice in Austin, TX. For the past 20 years, she has worked with people who struggle with body-focused repetitive behaviors. Nakell is a Certified Group Psychotherapist and provides workshops and institutes locally with the Austin Group Psychotherapy Society and nationally with the American Group Psychotherapy Association.
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