Trichotillomania/Hair Pulling Therapy and Counseling in San Jose/Saratoga

At the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of  Silicon Valley, we offer cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for trichotillomania or chronic hair pulling. Our approach is practical, goal-oriented, compassionate, and scientifically-based while focusing on your individual needs.

Hair pullingWhat is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania is the repetitive pulling out of your hair to the point where there is significant and noticeable hair loss. If you have trichotillomania, you may  be distressed by the behavior or notice that the behavior impacts your functioning, such as causing conflict with family members or embarrassment in public. You may pull out the hair on your head,  eyebrows, eyelashes, pubic area, and/or other parts of your body.

Symptoms of Trichotillomania

  • Repetitive pulling out of one’s hair resulting in noticeable hair loss
  • Problems in functioning related to the pulling
  • Tension and difficulty resisting the urge to pull hair
  • Feeling relief or satisfaction after pulling hair

Cognitive Behavioral Model of Trichotillomania

While research suggests that some people may have an inherited predisposition to hair pulling, the causes of the behavior are less important than what is maintaining the behavior now. According to the CBT model, hair pulling is maintained by a combination of environmental, emotional, and/or cognitive factors that either trigger or reinforce pulling episodes. Pulling can be triggered by specific settings (e.g. bedroom, bathroom) or activities such as driving or watching television. Certain emotions, such as anxiety, tension, and boredom can also trigger pulling episodes, as well as irrational beliefs about physical appearance. Pulling can then be reinforced by the feeling of the hair once it is pulled, a sense of relief or satisfaction, or the belief that physical appearance is improved. Pulling also may distract you from negative and uncomfortable emotions that you wish to avoid.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Trichotillomania

The goal of CBT for trichotillomania is to educate you about the disorder and teach you to become more aware of pulling and the environmental, emotional, and cognitive factors that trigger pulling. During the assessment phase, you will keep track of your pulling episodes, along with the associated triggers, consequences, emotions and thoughts. You will learn self-management strategies to prevent pulling episodes and to stop the episodes once they begin, as well as learn to tolerate the uncomfortable emotions that lead to pulling.

Click here to see tools your child could use to distract themselves from hair pulling: Hair Pulling Tools for Kids.

Common Goals of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Trichotillomania
  • Decrease pulling episodes
  • Resume daily routine and other levels of functioning
  • Build coping skills for tolerating uncomfortable emotions and preventing pulling
Getting Help for Trichotillomania/Hair Pulling

The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley specializes in therapy and counseling for trichotillomania/hair pulling. We are located in Saratoga on the border of San Jose and Saratoga just 1/2 mile from Highway 85. With our convenient location near highway 85, we serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Cupertino and Campbell, CA. Contact us at (408) 384-8404 for more information on how we can help you manage your trichotillomania/hair pulling.

Serving the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Campbell, Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and Santa Clara, CA

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