Habit Reversals 


As a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist, I work with children, young people and adults who have identified that they have habits they would like to change. I use Habit Reversal Therapy (HRT) to achieve results for my clients. This normally takes a one off 2 hour session for most habit reversals. 

  • Tics 

Tics are involuntary raid recurrent non-rhythmic movements or sounds. Tics that produce movements are called “motor tics” and those that produce sound are called “vocal tics”.  Tics are sudden and purposeless. Tics are categorised into 2 sections - simple and complex.

Simple Tics include eye blinking, lip pouting, head turning, head turning, clearing throat, coughing, sniffing, hissing, grunting.

Complex Tics include Hopping, Clapping, Squatting, touching objets, kissing, repeating words and phrases, unusual rhythms, tine and volume, mimicking accents.

Although Stress does not cause tics, it can exacerbate tics. 

  • Thumb Sucking

I use simplified habit reversal, a method which has been used to eliminate thumb sucking in developmentally typical children, and includes training the child to recognize when thumb sucking occurs, and to engage in a competing behaviour when thumb sucking is detected.

  • Nail Biting
Nail-biting is a common and frustrating habit for many children, teens and parents. Roughly half of all children bite their nails.  
A Study carried out in 2016. 
Used the habit reversal procedure to reduce the nail-biting behaviour of 13 11-38 yr old Ss. The procedure was immediately effective in eliminating nail-biting, generally requiring only 1 counseling session of about 2 hrs duration. Results lasted for all clients who followed the prescribed instructions throughout a 16-wk follow-up. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Hair Pulling
Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) involves repetitive hair pulling that can cause significant distress and impairment in functioning. Both children and adults suffer from the disorder. Usually in 4 sessions we can install competing behaviour that helps the client reverser the habit. 
  • Stuttering
Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. This treatment is done in 4 sessions. 
Some of the other habits that can be very successfully treated with Habit Reversal Therapy are
  •  Skin Picking
  • Lip Biting
  • Knuckle Cracking
  • Snacking
  • Nose-Picking
  • Vocal Tics such as clearing the throat