Decoupling and Habit Replacement — Self-Help Treatments to Reduce Nail Biting, Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling), Skin Picking,

and Other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Click on your language of choice below for further information on decoupling and to obtain our "Free from BFRB" manual at no cost. Decoupling is a treatment method that is designed to reduce impulse control disorders/body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRB) such as trichotillomania (hair pulling), skin picking, lip-cheek-biting and nail biting. On the German and English sites, we also provide a manual explaining habit replacement.






Lee, M. T., Mpavaenda, D. N., & Fineberg, N. A. (2019). Habit reversal therapy in obsessive compulsive related disorders: a systematic review of the evidence and CONSORT evaluation of randomized controlled trials. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 13, 79. Link to article (full text)

Moritz, S. & Hauschildt, M. (2016). Handbuch: Erfolgreich gegen Zwangsstörungen (3. Aufl.). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
In agreement with Springer, 100% of the author's revenue will be used for our research!

Moritz, S., Penney, D., Ahmed, K., & Schmotz, S. (2021). A head-to-head comparison of three self-help techniques to reduce body-focused repetitive behaviors. Behavior Modification, 46(4), 894–912. doi: 10.1177/01454455211010707. Link to article (full text)

Moritz, S., Penney, D., Missmann, F., Weidinger, S., & Schmotz S. (2023). Self-help habit replacement in individuals with body-focused repetitive behaviors: a proof-of-concept randomized clinical trial. JAMA Dermatology. Link to article (Abstract)

Moritz, S., Penney, D., Weidinger, S., Gabbert, T., & Schmotz, S. (2022). A randomized controlled trial on a novel behavioral treatment for individuals with skin picking and other body-focused repetitive behaviors. Journal of Dermatology. Link to article (full text)

Moritz, S. & Rufer, M. (2011). Movement decoupling: a self-help intervention for the treatment of trichotillomania. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 42, 74–80. Link to article (Abstract)

Moritz, S., Rufer, M., & Schmotz, S. (2020). Recovery from pathological skin picking and dermatodaxia using a revised decoupling protocol. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 19, 3038–3040. Link to article (full text)

Moritz, S., Treszl, A., & Rufer, M. (2011). A randomized controlled trial of a novel self-help technique for impulse control disorders: a study on nail-biting. Behavior Modification, 35, 468–485. Link to article (Abstract)

Weidt, S., Klaghofer, R., Kuenburg, A., Bruehl, A. B., Delsignore, A., Moritz, S., & Rufer, M. (2015). Internet-based self-help for trichotillomania: a randomized controlled study comparing decoupling and progressive muscle relaxation. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 84, 359–367. Link to article (Abstract)

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