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Hypnotherapy for Trichotillomania (hair-pulling)

Trichotillomania is the rather strange name for compulsive hair-pulling behaviour. When you suffer from this, you pull hair from your head, eyebrows, or eyelashes or from other areas of your body. Men may pull their beards. 

Trichotillomania can involve pulling hair from the 'root', twisting hair until it breaks or compulsively snapping or cutting off 'unhealthy' 'wrong' hair or split ends. You might want to search for the 'right' hair that gives you the greatest satisfaction when it's pulled because of its colour or texture or length or 'root'.

The behaviour often starts in childhood or adolescence and affects an estimated 2-5% of the population, women have been said to make up 90% of the sufferers, although more recent research points to a more balanced percentage between men and women.

There is no known cause for compulsive hair-pulling. No one knows for certain why some people start pulling their hair and others don't.


Once the habit/compulsive behaviour is formed, there are often certain internal or external factors that increase the tendency to pull.

Sometimes it can run in families, I've treated several siblings or mother/daughters, for other people they are the only ones.

You may pull when you feel overwhelmed or anxious, or when you feel bored, frustrated, or just tired. In other words, when you're over-stimulated or under-stimulated.

Some people pull when they feel in limbo, not quite sure what to do next in their day or when they have decisions to make.

It might be something you tend to do when you drive, or when you sit down in the evening to watch TV. You might pull when you're on the phone, on the computer, or scrolling on social media. It could be in bed or on the sofa or in your car or in front of a  mirror with tweezers or just your fingers.

 

Pulling hair can distract you from self-sabotaging thoughts or boredom or any other uncomfortable feeling or thought and can give you short-lived relief and release and even a certain pleasure.

You can 'zone out' and become completely absorbed in pulling and messing with your hair, wasting precious time and energy. It's interesting, stimulating, exciting, an obsession and seems to be irreplaceable, it's the ONLY thing you want to do.

However, once the hair-pulling phase stops, the guilt and regret return in full force.

A negative cycle settles in. 

You may suffer trichotillomania in silence, not even knowing that it has a name or that others have it too. It's something you do when you are on your own and secretly. You try to hide and ignore it, and you just can't seem to stop.

Compulsive hair-pulling can leave you with low self-esteem, ashamed embarrassed, and wondering what is wrong with you.

Is this you?

Image by Tamara Bellis

You spend a lot of time worrying what your hair looks like

You're afraid people will notice your bald patches, thinning hair, missing brows or lashes

Your muscles ache from compulsive hair-pulling

You feel self-conscious, ashamed, and guilty

You refuse or avoid certain activities for fear your hair loss will be revealed

Your work and family life suffer. You're late for appointments, isolate yourself so that you can mess with your hair uninterrupted...

Your personal relationships suffer as a result of Trichotillomania

Bec Djapovic 
(Queensland,Australia)

Bec has gained control after 28 years of hair pulling 

Kate Darpino 
(New York State USA)

Discover Kate's experience on the Headstrong Programme

Sarena  
(Vancouver Canada)

Sarena had been pulling her lashes and brows for years

The Headstrong Programme
 

7 Individual Sessions

18 Coping Techniques 

Ongoing Support

This unique individual online programme uses a holistic approach of:

- Cognitive behavioural therapy,

- Hypnotherapy,

- Mindfulness,

- Relaxation,

- Breathing techniques,

- Habit reversal protocol

- Coaching

This blended multi-dimensional approach will help you stop hair-pulling and prevent relapse

7 Individual Sessions

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

Understand your Trich Picture

Our first step is to determine your environmental, sensory, cognitive (thoughts) and emotional triggers and create your hair-pulling 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 may pull when either overstimulated: stressed, anxious, worried, overthinking, overwhelmed, frustrated or understimulated: bored or tired. For most hairpullers, 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 hairpulling, 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 Pulling​

You are now ready to interrupt the hair-pulling behaviour and use  a habit reversal protocol. You become stronger and more confident as you ride the urge and no longer pull. The urges become less frequent and intense as you learn to use and trust your strategies.

You understand what is happening and STOP pulling.

You make the necessary changes in your environment to remain pull-free.

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 Trichotillomania, you learn what to do and how to manage any future urges. Trichotillomania 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 pull a hair, 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 hair-pulling binges. Many clients are almost in disbelief as they realise that they are in control!

Build Confidence and Self-Belief​

Trichotillomania 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 pull.

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 whispering Trich 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 practices have been specially chosen for their positive impact on hairpulling.

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!

Sude Elverdi (Berlin)

Trich came back no matter what until I started this programme. It was different than all the other therapies because she (Morag) gives you actual tools to overcome it.

Michelle Collins (USA)

Morag’s program is work, it’s not magic. But that’s okay because she teaches YOU how to think about your thoughts, your actions and ultimately how to reach your specific BFRB goals. Once you learn how to care for yourself you will never need to be lost, again, in a storm of out-of-control behavior.

Beck Bloom (UK)

Morag will show you the way if you are prepared to put the work in. I found her to have a rare understanding of the mindset of someone with Trich and thank her for creating the programme, it really is life changing.

Continuing Support
after the Programme

-Regular online group support, 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

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I've just finished the Headstrong programme with Morag, and just wanted to say that I really can't recommend it enough. After over 35 years of hair pulling, I'd pretty much given up on the idea that things could ever improve, as was resigned to a permanent bald patch...

So when I contacted Morag, I had many doubts and very much felt that I was at Last Chance Saloon. But I'm so glad I did. Morag really understands trich, in a way no-one else I've come across does. She's warm, humorous and non-judgemental, setting you immediately at ease. And crucially, over the course of the programme, using a combination of strategies, she equipped me with a set of tools to understand my triggers, combat, and FINALLY take control of the trich.

I've now got lots of lovely thick hair regrowth, and am feeling more confident than I have in years. The occasional pull still happens...but I know how to control it and stop before it takes over.

 

Rachel Bell (UK)

Leanne Yates (UK)

The headstrong programme is perfect, Morag brings together different types of therapy and techniques, which work together to complement each other. Morag introduces the techniques in a certain order, over a specific time frame, which is spot on and all of this cumulates in the most effective way. Starting with the relaxation boot camp, which is the perfect way to begin. There is also aftercare support with a graduates group, so you don’t feel like it suddenly ends and have ongoing support.

I have sought a solution to hair pulling for decades and this is by far the most helpful I have found. Morag is amazing, she is so knowledgeable and supportive, I can’t thank her enough.

"

Sabina Hoffman (USA)

Kayla Konkol (USA)

 I just knew it was the right fit for me. After a few sessions I realized, I need to be honest with myself and honest with the ones closet to me. It had been 10+ years, I've never gotten a hair cut, and my hair was shorter and shorter every year. I need to face myself in the mirror and saw it out loud. "I have trichotillomania. I physically pull hair out of my head. And feel momentary relief when I do this. Repeat" I told my husband and my family and told them the raw, harsh truth about my reality. After about 6-9 months of working Morags program, I realized... I CAN DO THIS!!! Why has nothing else worked?! This is MY MIRACLE ANSWER!! I completed the program late 2023 and I have been over 5 months pull free. I do have my moments where I feel the urge, even had a slip up or two. But I did not spiral out of control. I got right back on track. I used months of tools and resources Morag gave to lean on. Poured myself back into my work and overcome! 

If you are thinking you need a miracle answer.... I hope this is your sign! I hope you take a chance on yourself and believe on yourself. I've never been more proud of myself and happy I took a chance!

FAQ

Length

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 Trich.

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

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

Commitment

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 compulsive behaviour took time to install itself in your life, it will need your time and effort to get rid of it

Kids/teens

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 Trich. I adapt the Headstrong 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

Fee

The programme is $1250 USD/£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

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