Freedom from Hair Pulling

Freedom from Hair Pulling is a practical, personal step-by-step guide to current treatment protocols for trichotillomania written by a therapist who specializes in treating this disorder. Information is included for family members who want to help young children and offers plenty of important information on how to create an individualized treatment plan. More

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About Judy DeKuehn

Judy DeKuehn is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a graduate of the University of North Texas, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Gerontology and her Master’s degree in Counseling. Judy specializes in working with adults and children dealing with trichotillomania (TTM), eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, and anxiety disorders. In addition, she has experience with grief issues and conflict resolution. She is dedicated to her own continuing personal and spiritual growth.

Fresh Perspectives Counseling offers Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) as primary means of therapy. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are also therapy approaches commonly utilized.

Trichotillomania (TTM) is a neurobiological disorder where people pull hair from their body, usually in an effort to self-soothe, although some individuals report pulling for other reasons, such as boredom or stress reduction. Trichotillomania is actually a combination of three Greek words: trich (hair), tillo (pull), and mania (madness, excessive activity, or craving). The mania part of the name can be misleading, and creates an unfortunate connection in people’s minds with other disorders to which it is not at all related. The fact that its name includes the term “mania” wrongly suggests to the public that sufferers are “crazy” or seriously mentally ill. It is classified as an “Impulse Control Disorder”, lumped together with such problems as kleptomania, pyromania, and pathological gambling in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. It is thought as many as 3% of Americans struggle with this disorder. There are exciting advances in the treatment of TTM and more studies are being done now than ever before to help understand the brain chemistry and physiology of what is happening with TTM.

The essential features of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) include recurrent obsessions and/or compulsions that are severe enough to be time-consuming or to cause marked distress or significant impairment in a person’s daily routine. Obsessions are persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and cause marked anxiety or distress. Judy works with many individuals struggling with OCD and uses a cognitive-behavioral model of therapy to shape behavior over time.

Eating Disorders are characterized by severe disturbances in eating behaviors. A disturbance in perception of body shape and weight is an essential feature as well. Individuals with this disorder intensely fear gaining weight or becoming fat. Judy treats many individuals with this diagnosis using cognitive-behavioral therapy and works with registered dieticians, psychiatrists and medical doctors to insure a full-spectrum treatment plan.

Panic Attacks are sudden, intense periods of almost uncontrollable fear, characterized by heart palpitations, dizziness, shallow breathing, sweating and shakiness. Individuals who have experienced panic attacks will many times report persistent concern about having additional attacks. Judy treats clients with Panic Disorders using cognitive behavioral therapy. Many of her clients report great success and relief from many of the symptoms associated with this disorder.

Fresh Perspectives Counseling is centrally located at 659 Morganton Sq. Dr. Maryville, TN 37801.

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