WellSpan Home

Tourette's Disorder: Habit Reversal Training

Topic Overview

Habit reversal is a promising behavioral therapy to help reduce tics. Habit reversal training (HRT) is a behavior therapy that has helped people who have hair pulling (trichotillomania), nail-biting, thumb-sucking, and tics associated with Tourette's disorder.

As with most therapies, it's helpful if your child agrees to treatment. Ask your child if he or she wants help to manage tics. This is a good, first step in letting your child feel that he or she has a part in treatment.

With your help, HRT may help your child:

  • Notice the signs that a tic is starting.
  • Become more aware of the settings in which tics are most likely to occur.
  • Prevent tics.
  • Do things in place of a tic. For example, instead of doing an eye blink tic, your child may learn to gently close his or her eyelids and hold them closed for several seconds.
  • Learn relaxation techniques to manage stress, which if not managed, may make tics worse.

Families learn HRT from a qualified health professional who has experience with Tourette's disorder and the therapy. Do not use habit reversal training without proper guidance.

After you and your child learn what to do, you and your child will practice the techniques and responses daily at home and write about his or her progress. Set up a time and place to do habit reversal. Your child will not be able to monitor his or her tics throughout the entire day. Help your child practice in public places, if needed. Your child needs praise and support to keep doing the training. It's important to praise your child when he or she uses the treatment techniques. This way, your child receives praise for doing something he or she can control (using treatment techniques) rather than not doing something he or she cannot control (ticing). Relaxation techniques may also help your child succeed with HRT.

Many children and teens will notice a decrease in their tics within a couple of days. But the greatest change from using these habit reversal procedures occurs during the second and third month. Don't give up after only a couple of days or weeks.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics

Current as ofMay 3, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×