Hypnotherapeutic management of pediatric and adolescent trichotillomania

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1996 Oct;17(5):328-34. doi: 10.1097/00004703-199610000-00007.


Trichotillomania in children is regularly described as analogous to a habit disorder. As such, it is thought at times to be benign in a manner analogous to habits such as thumb sucking and nail biting. It is also considered by some to be an obsessive-compulsive disorder, to be more recalcitrant to intervention, and to be more socially disabling than simple habits, particularly when persistence and intensity eventuate in obvious alopecia. This report presents five cases of trichotillomania in which self-monitoring, dissociative hypnotic techniques, and self-hypnosis (relaxation/mental imagery) practice were used in teaching children successful management of this vexing problem. Specific emphasis is placed on the nature and importance of modifying the described techniques for the personal and specific developmental needs of individual patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Habits
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy
  • Male
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Suggestion
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trichotillomania / therapy*