Body Psychotherapy (aka Somatic psychology) was first popularized by maverick psychotherapist Wilhelhm Reich. It is an umbrella term for a group of psycho-therapeutic approaches focused on the body’s intersection with the mind and its illnesses.
What most distinguishes Body Psychotherapy from other forms of so-called “talk therapies” for compulsive finger picking (e.g. cognitive therapy or behavior modification) is the delivery. Whereas interaction between patient and practitioner in other therapies is limited to oral or written verbal communication — Body Psychotherapy can involve guided touch, movement and breathing.
Body Psychotherapy is likely to be most effective against a compulsive picking habit when the treatments are focused on both of the following:
- The underlying anxiety and stress that may be causing the problem
- The repetitive, impulsive picking movements of the hand
An interesting and largely unexplored treatment is to combine Body Psychotherapy with other body-focused therapies such as biofeedback and yoga. But regardless of the treatment path you choose, working with a trained mental health professional is key to success.
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