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Hair Pulling Specialist

Compulsion Control

Ilisa Kaufman, Psy.D

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Specialist located in Miami, FL

Pulling your hair out might sound like a painful and disfiguring habit, but for some people, it becomes a compulsion that satisfies a deep-seated need. If your hair pulling is causing you distress, clinical psychologist Ilisa Kaufman, PsyD, of Compulsion Control in Miami, Florida, can help using her RIP-R program. Dr. Kaufman's unique approach introduces innovative techniques that show you how to reduce your compulsion to pull out your hair. Find out more by calling Compulsion Control, or book an appointment online today.

Hair Pulling Q & A

What is hair pulling?

Hair pulling, also known as trichotillomania, is an impulse-control disorder that makes you want to pull the hair out of your scalp or other areas like your eyebrows. It can leave you with bald spots and patchy hair growth that cause feelings of shame and embarrassment.

Hair pulling can become a compulsion that you feel unable to control. The process of pulling out your hair provides a feeling of relief or even pleasure that you come to depend on.

You might also have rituals you need to follow when pulling out your hair and then playing with, chewing, or even eating the hair you pull out. You may find you're unable to stop yourself from pulling out your hair, despite repeatedly attempting to quit or reduce your hair pulling.

Why do I have a problem with hair pulling?

Some people start pulling their hair out as an unconscious habit that starts when they're bored or while they're paying attention to a TV show or book. This automatic hair pulling may develop into a focused need to pull the hair out as a way of relieving:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Fatigue
  • Frustration

Hair pulling seems to offer an outlet for your negative feelings. You can also come to depend on the pleasure you feel after pulling out your hair in a similar way to people with substance abuse disorders or addictions.

What treatments can help with hair pulling?

Many people with hair pulling disorder can benefit from exposure response prevention (ERP), where you learn to become desensitized to the thoughts that make you want to pull your hair.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can also help by teaching you practical methods of managing the thoughts that trigger your hair pulling.

How does RIP-R help with hair pulling?

Dr. Kaufman developed her RIP-R program to combine the most useful elements of ERP and CBT to benefit her patients. Her groundbreaking approach to disorders like hair pulling uses the power of motivation to address the issues responsible for hair pulling and other compulsive behaviors.

Using RIP-R, Dr. Kaufman takes you from your very lowest point, where behaviors like hair pulling have taken over your life (the rock-bottom stage). She teaches you the cognitive techniques or manipulators she developed that give you the means to progress through the program's other stages and gain freedom from compulsive hair pulling.

To find out more about RIP-R and how Dr. Kaufman can help you overcome hair pulling, call Compulsion Control today or book an appointment online.