Assessment and Treatment of Pathological Skin Picking

Jedidiah Siev, Hannah E. Reese, Kiara Timpano and Sabine Wilhelm

in The Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195389715
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940431 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Assessment and Treatment of Pathological Skin Picking

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Pathological skin picking (PSP) refers to chronic skin picking or scratching that causes tissue damage and distress. It is a heterogeneous category of behaviors and may be manifest in the context of various psychological disorders. This chapter presents an overview of the empirical literature on the assessment and treatment of PSP, including (1) a cognitive-behavioral model as heuristic for conceptualizing treatment, (2) assessment tools, (3) a review of the pharmacological and psychosocial treatment outcome literatures, (4) cognitive-behavioral treatment techniques, and (5) future directions. The chapter is intended to introduce the clinician to the assessment and psychological tools used to treat PSP, as well as to provide impetus to advance research in this understudied domain.

Keywords: skin picking; body-focused repetitive behavior; cognitive-behavior therapy; excoriation; habit reversal training

Article.  10021 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing

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