Podcast -Quitting Hair Pulling
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Rik van Bastelaar is the founder of Treatment for Trichotillomania - Getting Better. His personal mission is to empower people with insights and techniques that allow them to improve the quality of their lives and manifestations. This topic of human potential has always intrigued him and caused him to travel the world to be trained by some of the finest experts in the field of human behavior, to learn from them personally before establishing Treatment for Trichotillomania. Through this he supports people to stop compulsively pulling their hair out and get their life back. In an interview with Rik, Kristi a medical student, shares how she suffered from Trichotillomania for many years. Through many disappointments over time in trying to quite pulling, either on her own and with professional help, it kind of felt impossible to her that freeing herself from this behavior was possible. But after speaking to Rik she decided to ask him for his help. Now, looking back, she reveals for the very first time how she believes it actually can be done. You can listen to the interview on the Getting Better website by clicking on the image below.
Identifying the root cause
Trichotillomania afflicts millions of people worldwide, and ten million in the U.S. The shame and secrecy that so many experience with this problem naturally makes it harder to manage. Trichotillomania is not considered treatable by general psychotherapy, or psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The most effective method available is a combination of two cognitive behavioral therapies: Habit Reversal and Stimulus Control.
Rik Van Bastelaar suggests that the only way one can quit pulling hair addressing the root cause instead of fighting the symptom of hair pulling itself! Trying to force yourself consciously to change this through mere willpower or conscious understanding will make things very difficult, if not impossible, so you need to learn to go back to the root cause, there where it actually all starts or what may trigger it.
So, for example if your beliefs of who you are and what you are capable of doing or learning will not support what you want and need out of life to feel happy, this will cause inner turmoil and conflict if you are not happy with where you are in life. And often prevent you from taking the actions that can help you correct what you are not happy with in the first place, until you learn how to change those deeper drivers of behavior that are often the result of your past. Therapy should also be combined with a network of emotional support.