The Trichotillomania Clinic and Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School was founded more than 20 years ago. It is one of a few clinics in the world that offers specialized treatment for trichotillomania and other body-focused repetitive behavioral disorders (e.g., pathological skin picking).
Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder) and Excoriation (Skin-Picking) Disorder are treatable through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication. In addition to these treatments, we also offer consultations, evaluations, and follow-up care.
We treat adult hair pullers and skin pickers. Individuals under 18 years of age should seek care at the MGH Child Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program (http://www.massgeneral.org/psychiatry/services/child_cbt_home.aspx).
Clinic faculty offer both cognitive-behavioral treatment and medication management approaches reflecting the latest advances in treatment outcome studies. Research conducted by staff has contributed significantly to our understanding of these disorders and has included the development of self-report assessment scales, novel cognitive-behavioral interventions, web-based self-help treatment programs, and psychopharmacological approaches.
More recently, we have been instrumental in the development of a trichotillomania genetic biobank at NIMH and exploration of the genetic underpinnings to these problems. Our faculty have also been instrumental in elevating public and professional awareness by sponsoring community education programs and participation in scientific advisory boards for organizations committed to advancing the cause of these disorders.