Habit Reversal Training is a multi-stage treatment program developed to treat a variety of repetitive behavioral disorders. The constant and repetitive picking of skin without being conscious about it is dermatillomania or compulsive skin picking. The goal of habit reversal training is to reduce the tics associated with impulse control disorder such as compulsive skin picking.
Habit reversal training for skin picking involves four components. They are awareness training, competing response training, building motivation, and generalization of skills. Habit reversal training for skin picking is about urges, or sensations before a tic occurrence. The goal of habit reversal training for skin picking to replace skin picking with a more constructive habit.
Awareness training is used to inform the affected person of the tics and other behaviors so the subject can maintain self control. The affected person describes the behavior in detail while looking at his or her reflection in the mirror. The therapist is tasked to point out the number of incidence of impulse behavior and it is done over and over until the subject learns to identify the moment the tic transpired. As this progress, the person can now determine when an impulse behavior is about to occur by identifying the urge, sensation or thought. Awareness training is achieved when the subject knows how to identify all the situations in which impulse behavior happened.
Once the subject is aware of the impulse behavior, and then it is time to develop a competing response to replace that particular behavior. The competing response is an opposite of the current habit. It is also suggested that the response would not attract any attention.
Complement and praise should be often given out to build motivation. The subject should make a note of all the problems that are caused by the behavior.
The last phase is to apply the competent response in an open environment. A person needs to keep on practicing whether at home or in a workplace.