top of page

Hypnotherapy for skin-picking (Dermotillomania/Excoriation Disorder)

Excoriation Disorder, Dermotillomania more commonly known as skin picking is classified as a BFRB (Body Focused Repetitive Behaviour).

This compulsive behaviour affects 1-4% of the population, women more than men, and often starts in adolescence. Many people pick or scratch their bodies at certain times, it’s when this gets out of hand and interferes with your life that it needs to be addressed.

You can spend many hours attempting to get rid of the slightest perceived imperfection, blemish, or spot. You’re not self-harming, on the contrary, you want to have 'perfect' skin. However, when you engage in this excessive grooming behaviour,  you damage yourself, leave scars and often have sore skin, that bleeds and hurts.

You want to stop, but somehow you just can’t. Your hands seem to have a mind of their own. Even when you can see that you're bleeding and it hurts, you continue or this gives you the cue to start the healing, repairing process of applying plaster or creams to the damaged areas. This is the self-care you truly crave yet don't seem to be able to give yourself.

You touch your skin during the day and feel for the parts of your skin that don't feel right, that need to be picked to release whatever is under it. As soon as you're alone you set to digging and picking almost as an obsession until you get what you want out.

You may skin pick when you’re bored, frustrated, anxious, or worried. Picking distracts you from these negative feelings, helps you cope, and provides you with a certain pleasure. This quickly disappears when you see the damage of your picking and so you set yourself on a negative spiral.

The part of your body that you pick can be different: face, arms, chest, legs, feet, skin around your nails and is often a combination of all of these.

Allergic Reaction_edited.jpg

Is this you?

You feel embarrassed and ashamed of your compulsion

You refuse or avoid certain activities 


Your work, social, family, and personal life suffer.

You feel out of control

Sheila (USA)

Morag was a wonderfully kind and open person to work with on such a tough topic. 

The cognitive behavioral approach really helped break down my personal triggers and together we created a literal road map of my brain to understand my triggers and patterns of thinking. I’ve had huge success since completing (and continuing to work) her program. I’m forever grateful!” 

Lisa Smith O'Connor (Massachusetts)

I was skeptical at first. I’m 47 years old and have been a skin picker my whole life. I’m also a therapist and I had never learned about any treatment or medication that would actually help. Then I found Morag. Her treatment program has changed my life. My skin has healed. I have an understanding of why I picked. I was able to share openly about the shame I feel about having the disorder. I also learned to accept that it is a disorder and that I should not feel any shame for something that I did not choose to have. I graduated Morag’s program with life long skills, strategies and support. I am forever grateful and highly recommend her to anyone struggling with this disorder. There is hope!

The Determined


7 individual Sessions

18 Coping Techniques 

Ongoing Support

This unique personalised online programme gives you coping strategies and skills using a holisitc approach which includes:

- Cognitive behavioural therapy,

- hypnotherapy

- Mindfulness,

- Relaxation,

- Breathing techniques

- Habit reversal protocol

- Coaching

This blended and multi-dimensional therapy helps you understand your picking, become aware of how to stop picking and prevents relapse

7 Individual Sessions

During our sessions together, these are some of the areas we'll explore together

Understand your Picking Picture

Our first step is to determine your environmental, sensory, cognitive (thoughts) and emotional triggers and create a picture. This gives us your starting point and one that we refer back to during the sessions. We now know exactly what we're up against and can move on to put coping strategies and skills in place.

Find Inner Calm

You probably pick when you are either overstimulated: stressed, anxious, worried, overthinking, overwhelmed, frustrated or understimulated: bored or tired. For most skin pickers it's a mix of both scenarios.

Learning self-care techniques to experience true calm and wellness is key to recovery. You gain confidence in your ability to de-stress and self-regulate your emotions and physical tension.

Self-hypnosis, mindfulness, relaxation, and breathing techniques are combined to offer you an effective toolkit.

We also look at your daily routine and how changing certain aspects of it, that seemingly have nothing to do with picking can make a huge impact on your behaviour and mood. The programme gives you the awareness of what to change and the motivation to do it. 

Stop Picking​

You are now ready to interrupt the picking behaviour using a habit reversal protocol. You become stronger and more confident as you ride the urge and no longer pick, dig or scratch. The urges become less frequent and intense as you learn to use and trust your strategies.

You understand what is happening and STOP picking.

You make the necessary changes in your environment to allow your skin to recover and heal.

It's now the moment to make significant changes to your thoughts in the final blocks of the programme.

Know how to deal with a lapse

During the whole of the programme, as you gain awareness and control over your picking, you learn what to do and how to manage any future urges. Compulsive skin-picking is not something that can be cured, however it is something that you can effectively manage so that it no longer has that dreadful hold over your life.

This compulsive behaviour doesn't come back unless you let it in. You now know how to keep it out. You're in charge. You know that even if you pick a spot, it doesn't mean that IT has come back and that you have no say over it. You can focus on what you need to do with calm and you never ever go back to hour-long picking, digging binges. Many clients are almost in disbelief as they realise that they are in control!

Build Confidence and Self-Belief​

Trich is often accompanied by self-doubt, low self-confidence, and anxiety. Your answer when you have had these feelings and thoughts until now has been to pick.

In this part of the programme we focus on effective tools to recognise, challenge, and swap out self-sabotaging thoughts to gain positive resilience.

You learn to answer back and defy that insistent whispering voice that says: 'just one and then you'll stop'.

18 coping techniques

During the first 18 days of your programme, you receive a personal message  that invites you to practice a de-stress exercise. These exercises have been specially chosen for their positive impact on skin-picking.

You learn to use self-hypnosis, mindfulness, and relaxation exercises in your everyday life.


This regular practice helps you create an essential breathing space in your life.

Accountability and support during and after the programme help to anchor the practice in your schedule.

Easy and terribly effective, you naturally use these calming routines in your daily life because they're enjoyable and because they work!

The support continues after the programme


-Regular online group support in my connection, motivation and accountability sessions. Every six weeks you are invited to an online meetup, you are never on your own again!

-Access to a growing library of hypnosis, mindfulness and relaxation audios and documents.



The programme takes  4-6 months to complete. As the programme progresses we increase the space between sessions so that you become more and more confident in your own ability to successfully manage your behaviour.

The first session is 1h30 the following 6 sessions are 1h

The group support sessions are 1h and are every six weeks approximately.


Your personal work is an important part of the programme. You need to put aside time every day to practice what we have covered during the sessions 30 mins -1hr. This behaivour took time to install itself in your life, it will need your time and effort to get rid of it


I work with kids and teens as long as they want to find help and are willing to do the personal work that is necessary to learn how to manage picking. I adapt the programme according to the age and maturity of your child or teen. Your involvement in therapy as a parent/caregiver is very important. During each therapy session, one part will be with your child on his/her own, one part with just yourself, and one part with both of you together. This helps us work together as a team


The programme is $1250 /£950

I offer free monthly payment possibilities

Find out more

If you'd like to sign up for the programme or find out more about it, you can schedule a discovery call here. It will be a pleasure to speak with you

bottom of page