Unwelcome Habits


HabitsThis study describes a non-pharmacological treatment modality for children with trichotillomania. Three children with trichotillomania were treated using a hypnotherapy technique.

All patients were observed in the outpatient clinic for 8 consecutive weeks and subsequently followed for 12-18 months. All children were co-operative in performing the hypnotherapy technique (relaxation/mental imagery).

Two patients reported complete resolution of their complaints after 7-8 weeks and 1 patient after 16 weeks.

The latter, reporting recurrence of the complaint after 4 weeks due to stressful school problems, was resolved after successful retreatment over 3 weeks. During a mean follow-up period of 16 months, there were no recurrences.

In conclusion, hypnotherapy may be considered as a primary treatment modality for trichotillomania in children without associated emotional disorders.

Acta Paediatr 1999 Apr;88(4):407-10 Cohen HA, Barzilai A, Lahat E Pediatric Ambulatory Center, Petach Tikva, Israel.