Tools for recovery workshop - Aug 7th

Tasneem Abrahams
Jun 23rd, 2016

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The TLC Foundation for BFRBs runs regular workshops, conferences and seminars to help raise awareness about trichotillomania and other BFRBs. There next event will be taking place in St. Louis on 7 August 2016. The workshop is titled "Tools for Recovery" and promises to be a day of education, healing and connection. The workshop will take place at the The Webster Groves Parks and Recreation Department, located at 33 East Glendale Road, adjacent to Memorial Park. The workshop is said to be best suited to those who are 13 years old and up, who have hair pulling, skin picking, nail biting and/or any other BFRBs. Having said that, TLC Foundation always fosters a very welcoming and inclusive environment as they recognize that this disorder is not something that can be or should be managed alone. The support or people you care about is paramount and so a workshop like this one also encourages and welcomes the attendance of parents, partners/spouses of a person with a BFRB, as well as treatment providers. This is one of those platforms where people who suffer with a condition and those who treat it are really treated as equals, as partners in healing.

Event Details

Local treatment providers and support group leaders will lead informational and interactive sessions about:

  • Effective treatment approaches for body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) including trichotillomania and skin picking disorder
  • Behavioral strategies to help reduce picking and pulling
  • Coping skills for teens and parents
  • Local resources for support and treatment

It promises to be a jam-packed workshop and you can find more details on the website, but we will list the agenda here for your easy reference:


10:00am: Check-in

10:30-10:45am: Welcome and introductions

10:35am-11:45am: Overview of BFRBs with Laura Chackes, PsyD

An overview of BFRBs, including facts and myths about these behaviors and a presentation of effective treatment approaches. Attendees will understand the sensory, emotional, and cognitive aspects of BFRBs, and learn to identify specific trigger situations that may lead to pulling/picking behavior, as well as identify strategies to help cope with these triggers when pulling and picking urges arise.

Lunch is on your own

1:15pm-2:30pm: Breakout Sessions, choose one:

For Adults w/ BFRBs & Parents
Never Give Up, Never Surrender: Empowering cognitive and behavioral strategies for BFRB recovery with Deanna Self, LPC
Adult sufferers and parents will learn about various behavioral strategies used to treat hair pulling, skin picking, and other BFRB's.

For Teens w/BFRBs Only
Redirection and Shared Strategies with Maddie Lapp & Maya W.
A facilitated discussion on identifying "triggers" and brainstorming strategies for coping with those triggers to help redirect and reduce these behaviors. This session is for teens 13 and older only.

2:30pm-2:45pm: 15-minute break

2:45pm-3:45pm: Breakout Sessions, choose one:

For Adults and Teens w/ BFRBs
Mindfulness with Laura Chackes, PsyD
In this session sufferers will learn why being mindful matters and how it can be the key turning point in regards to your body-focused repetitive behavior.

For Parents
From the Inside Out: How to help your teen with Maddie Lapp & Maya W.
Maddie and Maya, two young women with BFRBs, will discuss the effects of picking and pulling duiring the teen and young adult years, and the various ways parents can support their teen or child with BFRBs, including how to discuss the behavior with your child and ways to support them in recovery.

4pm-4:30pm: Presenter Q & A
We'll spend the last half hour together as a group. The presenter's will answer questions and further elaborate on the concepts of the day.

About the Speakers

TLC Foundation have not yet provided information about the presenters on the even page so we have done some research and are very impressed with the calibre of presenters on the line-up:

Laura Chackes, PsyD

Dr. Chackes is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders. She received her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute’s Anxiety Disorders Center.  She worked as a staff psychologist with the Anxiety Disorders Center for the past six years, further developing her specialty in empirically based treatments for anxiety and anxiety related disorders, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP), Habit Reversal Training (HRT) and Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT). Her expertise includes treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Specific Phobias, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Separation Anxiety, Selective Mutism, Hoarding, Trichotillomania and Tic Disorder. Dr. Chackes also runs treatment groups for Trichotillomania and Skin Picking.



Deana Self, LPC

Deanna has a broad base of professional experience in Individual, Marriage, Couple, Family and Group Therapy. Since 2006, Deanna has focused on providing personal and professional counseling in North St. Louis County, West County, Lincoln County and St. Charles County.  She is dedicated to serving Individuals, Marriages, Couples and Families in need of support through life transitions and believes hope is possible through a collaborative effort. Through her practice, Deana also provides CBT for all BFRBs. 




Maddie Lapp & Maya Wasserstrom

Maddie Lapp was diagnosed with trichotillomania at the age of 14. She is one of the young BFRB sufferers who is part of the TLC Millennial Task Force. The Millennial Task Force is an initiative started in conjunction with the TLC Foundation to tap into the enthusiasm and expertise of millennials (teens and young adults) to help The TLC Foundation for BFRBs create and implement projects, programs, and campaigns that speak directly to the needs of young people with BFRBs. The foundation believes that Millennial Task Force initiatives will enhance TLC’s ability to build awareness and outreach, grow its membership base, and promote effective treatment options.  At the time of publishing this article we were not able to find information on Maya Wasserstrom, however information about the presenters will be provided on the TLC Foundation event page closer to the time.

To book for this informative event, please visit the event booking page and register to attend.

Tasneem Abrahams


Tasneem is an Occupational Therapist, and a graduate of the TLC foundation for BFRBs professional training institute. Her experience in mental health includes working at Lentegeur Psychiatric hospital forensic unit (South Africa), Kingston Community Adult Learning Disability team (UK), Clinical Specialist for the Oasis Project Spelthorne Community Mental Health team (UK). Tasneem is a member of both the editorial team and the clinical staff on TrichStop, providing online therapy for people who suffer from Trichotillomania and other BFRBs.

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