BFRB (Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors)

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Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) can often make us feel like we have no control over our behaviors and that we’re at the mercy of an endless cycle. Here are 6 ways you can set yourself up to combat your BRFB outside of your home.
Compulsive hair pulling (trichotillomania) and skin picking (excoriation) are Body Focused Repetitive Behavior Disorders (BFRBs). If you’re one of the 200+ million people who live with a BFRB, then you know how incredibly difficult these habits are to stop.
The comprehensive behavioral treatment or the ComB model is a treatment protocol developed by (Mansueto 2019) that tackles the complexity of treating BFRBs. It begins with using a CBT assessment tool, a functional analysis.
Whether we hear the term from a client, another provider, or our own classification of someone’s symptoms, “compulsions” tend carry with them some level of assumption – that this might just be OCD.
According to the DSM 5, Body focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) are classified as obsessive–compulsive related disorders. But the question remains, how do we treat BFRBs?
Many mental health professionals are now conducting patient visits virtually. I am one of the only psychologists left in my building who has stayed behind to continue in-person work while abiding by COVID protocols. Since our practice specializes in refractory OCD spectrum disorders and anxiety disorders a lot of the work done at our outpatient clinic requires in-vivo exposures, which cannot be replicated on Zoom.
If someone you know has a BFRB, one of the most important things you can do is learn about BFRB and express understanding that the BFRB is serving a purpose, whether it is self-stimulation, soothing anxiety, relief of perceived flaws, some combination of these, or something else.