"After only four days with Robert, I feel I have gotten my life back.   I'm free of the anxiety I constantly felt, and am excited about life!   I'm in charge of my life now... What a wonderful feeling!"       Cassi G., Moses Lake, WA       "Robert and Glei, you are truly inspirations for others.   You offer a different kind of option for living life."       Kathy K., Ocean City, MD       "Just a note while nearing my ONE YEAR mark of the rest of my life, anxiety-free!   My life is so full and rich, it's staggering at times.   Greatfulness abounds!"      Anita P., Minneapolis, MN       "Robert is to me what Phil Jackson is to the Lakers...   In seven short sessions, I eliminated literally twenty-plus years of anxiety and self-doubt."      Michael S., Marina Del Rey, CA       "I thank you, Robert Mantell, ever so much for all that you've done for me, my life and my sense of being."       Kelly R., Ocala, FL        "The past 5 years plagued my life with an array of antidepressants and alcohol, progressing to mental hospitals and a long list of therapists and group sessions.   I was so ready for this last chance to kick 'King Alcohol' out my life when a friend introduced me to Robert Mantell.   In one day this man saved my life..."       LaDonna O., Reno, NV        "The pain I was feeling in my life experience disappeared when Robert and Glei helped me reclaim my ability to take charge of my beliefs, feelings and actions in my life...    A special thanks to Robert and Glei for great direction and friendship."       Chris F., Detroit, MI       "You are a man of character, but more importantly you are a man driven by the truest and kindest intentions of your heart.   Thank you for touching my life... "       Gabby F., Vancouver, WA       "It doesn't seem possible, but in just six days you gave me the tools to overcome my problem and change my life!   Nothing else I have tried, from medication to therapy works... but this does.   I wish I had found you a long time ago.   Thank you!"      Jillian S., Dana Point, CA       "Thank you so much for giving me my son back.   To tell the truth, I have never seen Jonathan more relaxed, self-confident, fun-loving, involved, and connected with life.   You have shown him how to break the shell of darkness that enveloped him.   Now he shines like a radiant new sun!"      Carolyn D., Paradise, CA      
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The Trichotillomania Freedom Center

BASED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, The Trichotillomania Freedom Center specializes in rapid, permanent, 100% drug-free eradication of trichotillomanic behavior. On average, just 3 to 4 three-hour Accelerated Personal Breakthrough Coaching sessions over the course of about a week as part of our flagship 90-Day Accelerated Personal Breakthrough Coaching program are required to help you achieve substantial or complete relief from even a lifetime of problems with trichotillimania.

What Is Trichotillomania?

Quite simply, trichotillomania is a set of behaviors characterized by compulsive hair-pulling. Sufferers may pull hair from anywhere on their body where it normally appears. Such areas commonly include the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or other parts of the body, and often result in noticeable bald patches in these areas. Sufferers may also eat/chew the roots of the hair that they pull, a behavior referred to as trichophagia.

While trichotillomania is currently classified as an impulse "disorder", questions persist as to how exactly it should be classified. The behavior at times resembles an addiction, while at other times it may appear to be nothing more than a nervous tic or a habit. Some researchers have estimated the prevalence of trichotillomania in the population to be in the

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1-2% range, while others suggest a greater number somewhere on the order of 4-5%.

What Is The Origin of Trichotillomania?

As is the case with many forms of neurotic behavior, stress appears to be the psychological energy that drives trichotillomania. Reduce or eliminate the source of stress, and chances are, the behavior will also be reduced or eliminated. The trick is — and always has been — how to effectively make that happen.

At BrightLife's Trichotillomania Freedom Center, we know.

Characteristics of Trichotillomania*

Trichotillomania sufferers can live relatively normal lives; however, they may have bald spots on their head, their eyelashes, pubic hair, or brows. Prolonged pulling may affect hair pigment, resulting in white hair regrowth. Permanent hairloss has been reported from extensive pulling. An additional psychological effect can be low self-esteem, often associated with being shunned by peers and the fear of socializing due to appearance and negative attention they may receive. Some "trichsters" (a name for trichotillomania sufferers) wear hats, wigs or style their hair in an effort to avoid such attention.

Many clinicians classify trichotillomania as a habit behavior, in the same family as nail biting (onychophagia) or compulsive skin picking (dermatotillomania). Such challenges are considered by the traditional mental health community to be a cross between mental disorders such as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder, because the sight or feel of a body part causes the sufferer anxiety), and physical disorders such as Stereotypic Movement Disorder because the sufferer performs repetitive movements without being bothered by or completely aware of them. The current classification of trichotillomania as an impulse disorder of the same nature as pyromania, pathological gambling and kleptomania, has been called into question as inadequate and in need of revision. In fact, it's been shown that trichotillomania sufferers are no more likely to have significant personality disorders than anyone else.

However, given the nearly pervasive nature of stress as a causative factor in the development of virtually all psychological symptoms, it should come as no surprise that anxiety, depression, as well as some forms of OCD are more frequently encountered in people with trichotillomania. It is characteristic that they may feel they are the only person with this problem due to low rates of reporting.

What Are The Standard Forms of Treatment for Trichotillomania?

Habit Reversal Training

Among standard treatment options, Habit Reversal Training, or HRT, is one of the commonly used. It is also among the most complex and painstaking forms of cognitive-behavioral approaches for treating trichotillomania. It generally involves the use of a great many activities and exercises, all of which are intended to help sufferers increase their awareness of their behavior. Patients are generally trained to focus on, and then do their best to reduce the tension that precedes the pulling.

Within this particular modality, doctors attempt to train the individual to learn to recognize their impulse to pull and also how to resist this impulse. As a part of the behavioral record-keeping component of HRT, patients are often instructed to keep a journal of their hair-pulling episodes. They may be asked to record the date, time, location, and number of hairs pulled, as well what they are thinking or feeling at the time. The intent is to help the patient learn to identify situations where they commonly pull out their hair and develop strategies for avoiding episodes.

Drugs (Psychopharmacology)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly used in the treatment of trichotillomania. Among these, antidepressants are among the most often used in treating both Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and trichotillomania. Antidepressants are only one of many treatments being tried at this time. There have been a few small and not well-controlled clinical trials of drug treatment for trichotillomania (ie, using such drugs as anafranil, prozac, and lithium).

Unfortunately, no one medication has been shown to have a particular advantage over any other, and drugs alone have not been shown to be particularly effective for many. One of the reasons it's so important to use care in choosing a professional with specific training, experience, and insight into the condition is to avoid being misdiagnosed or overmedicated. Prozac and other similar drugs, which some doctors and psychiatrists prescribe on a one-size-fits-all basis, tend to have limited usefulness in treating trichotillomania, and can often have significant side effects. According to one researcher, Fred Penzel, antidepressants can even increase the severity of the trichotillomania.

Stimulus Control Techniques

Stimulus Control is a well-known behavioral treatment that, in the case of trichotillomania, seeks to help sufferers first identify, and then eliminate, avoid, or change the particular activities, environmental factors, states, or circumstances that trigger hair pulling. The goal is to consciously control these triggers (stimuli or cues, as they are also known) that lead to pulling, and to create new learned connections between the urge to pull and new non-destructive behaviors. It is often combined with Habit Reversal Training, and utilizes the self-recorded information that is a part of that treatment.

In addition to these therapeutic techniques, the individual can also learn to anticipate what kinds of stimuli trigger pulling sessions in order to diminish the amount of hair pulled, or to avoid the pulling completely — for that moment. Some of these techniques include keeping fingers occupied with other tasks such as typing, hand crafts (i.e., sewing, knitting, needlework), keeping hands away from face and hairlines, behavior modifications, positive talk, and enlisting the help of friends and family to say stop when "trichsters" are seen pulling.

In the traditional medical and psychiatric communities, trichotillomania is considered a chronic problem. This means that although one can recover from it, it is believed there is no cure.

What Are The Challenges With Traditional Forms of Treatment?

As mentioned above, the traditional medical and psychiatric community considers trichotillomania to be a chronic, ultimately incurable form of mental "disorder". In the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Revision IV), trichotillomania is classified as an Axis I disorder, where such symptoms of a clinical nature and other "major mental disorders" are described and grouped. This would seem to presuppose that the symptoms of trichotillomania are the result of processes and activities that are going on at a totally unconscious level for the sufferer, and are probably the result of something "broken", or that needs to be "fixed" or "cured" on that level.

Yet, while we do believe that these kinds of seemingly irresistable compulsions are entirely the result of subconscious processes, we do not believe this behavior is necessarily evidence of a "mental disorder", per se´. In fact, we believe that people do what they do for a very good reason, whether or not they are consciously aware of what that reason is — and generally, they are not.

Why? Because again, whatever "makes" a person want to pull their hair out is virtually an entirely subconscious process — not a conscious one. No one tries to have trichotillomania! It's just something that seems to have come upon a person out of nowhere, with very little if any rational explanation available to make any kind of conscious sense out of it.

Yet, an examination of the standard forms of treatment described above clearly show, almost unbelievably, that such treatment programs (with the exception of the use of drugs) are almost totally directed at changing the sufferer's conscious mind — not their subconscious mind, where the real shifts needs to take place. To us, this makes no sense at all. It's even silly.

For example, in Habit Reversal Training, the goal is to help the sufferer learn to identify situations where they commonly pull out their hair and develop strategies for avoiding episodes. The problem with this is it requires so much conscious activity on the part of the client. And while it's certainly possible that this form of intervention can be helpful for some of the people some of the time, the fact is, efforts directed at impacting a person's conscious mind are going to be far from the most effective — or even the most efficient — ways of dealing with these kinds of problems.

Why? Because again, the sufferer is not consciously choosing to have this problem in the first place! In fact, if it were possible to consciously choose to stop having this problem, most sufferers would already have done that a long time ago.

But that's not what happens, is it? And that's because you can't think, talk or rationalize a person out of behaviors like this. The fact is, "insight", "awareness" or "understanding" — the ultimate goal of most forms of cognitive-behavioral (CBT) therapy — is rarely curative. For example, most of us know many people who have been in therapy for years, and who now have all kinds of sophisticated reasons to explain why they do what they do... But they just keep on doing it, don't they?

The fact it, treatment modalities directed primarily at impacting a person's insight, understanding or awareness are almost always likely to fail over the long term, since virtually none of our problems originate at the conscious level. It also tells us that if we want to be effective over the long term, the most useful approach is to direct the bulk of the changework to the subconscious mind, the ultimate source of this problem, and where all real learning, behavior and change must take root.

This is why you need The BrightLife Center.

Our program works virtually 100% of the time,
almost always within a period of just 90 short days —
no matter how long it's been a problem for you,
or how hard you might think it might be
to cure the problem permanently.


Just What is "The BrightLife Method"? — And How Can You Be So Sure Your Program Will Work For Me?

Our program is disarmingly simple in its approach, yet amazingly quick and effective for the truly committed client.

We at BrightLife have discovered that the most potentially effective way to successfully extinguish trichotillomania quickly and over the long-term is to relegate the majority of the changework we do to the subconscious mind, not the conscious mind. After all, it's a person's subconscious mind that makes them want to continue to pull their hair, no matter how harmful or even painful the person's conscious mind knows the problem to be.

There Is A Positive Purpose for Everything We Do

There is always a positive purpose for anything we ever do — even if we think it's something we don't actually want to be doing. This includes the compulsion to pull hair. Given the opportunity, and with relatively little effort, most of our clients are able to quickly realize how their current behaviors actually make a lot of sense when considered in the context of their entire life experience.

The Principle of Economy of Effort

Our brains work on something called the Principle of Economy of Effort. This means our brain would never, ever continue to expend energy on any behavior that it doesn't think is well worth the return on investment. Thus, as with any behavior a person continues to do again and again over time, there is — there must be — a payoff.

What is that payoff? Well, it can be different for different people. Generally, however, we believe that trichotillomanic behavior is means of "venting" pent-up psychological energy (fear, frustration, hurt, anger, guilt, etc.) resulting from earlier traumatic experiences in life. Such experiences might include a painful divorce among parents, the loss of a family member, being the victim of abuse, etc. Trichotillomania sufferers tend to do, rather than feel — invariably because at some earlier point in life, they learned at the unconscious level that to feel equals more pain than to not feel. Yet, they have to vent all that pent-up energy somehow — so they act, rather than having to endure the potential pain of feeling.

And therein lies the solution.

You see, using a variety of means, it's possible to identify the earlier trauma(s) in a person's life, and to assist the trichotillomania sufferer to effectively assign a new, more resourceful meaning to those earlier life events (something we call reframing). In other words, we know that what happened so long ago is not really the issue anymore; it's what the person took away from those events in terms of what it all meant to them at the time — and the resulting psychological reaction — that makes all the difference.

When a person learns to literally perceive those earlier events differently — at the unconscious level, mind you — so that the meaning they unconsciously assign to what happened is no longer hurtful, debilitating or traumatic, but instead may now actually serve as a source of potential empowerment for the client and his or her future — the drive to continue the old attempts at resolving what has now become a resolved issue completely dissappears.

Does It Work? You Bet!

When 23-year-old Debra K. (now a medical doctor!) contacted us for the first time in June of 2009, she literally wanted to know whether what she'd hear about us was "too good to be true" — or whether perhaps our program might be exactly what she'd been looking for all these years.

Turns out it was. Here's Debra's story in her own words:

BEFORE: "I started in 6th grade when I was 11. There have been a few instances when I stopped for a few months, but it was a combination of being very distracted, always with someone, and a lot of willpower. And those months were never perfectly pull-free.

"I tried cognitive behavior therapy. I spent one hour per week for a year. I was on Prozac for 6 months of that year. The ambivalence to stopping was the hurdle I could never overcome... And perhaps the guilt. I know that feeling, like I am doing something wrong makes me feel bad about myself, as does not being able to stop. And then all I want to do is pull, and the cycle of feeling worthless just continues. Once in the spring of 2008, I was in such distress about not being able to stop pulling my hair, I thought, "It'd be easier if it all just ended... That would make it stop.

"I have also tried hat-wearing, taping my fingers, yoga, eating instead, putting smiley stickers on a calendar for each day I didn't do it... the list goes on. I'm sure it is obvious that none of those worked."

AFTER: "Thank you! I don't pull my hair anymore! I have been meaning to send this message for months.

"This morning, I parted my hair down the middle and put it into two french braids... And it looks good! I have always wanted to wear my hair that way.

"In January, I was in Wisconsin for part of [my work]. I surely would have failed if I had been left to my own previous devices... But I didn't pull at all. Today I am seeing the payoffs. :)

"I never thought I wouldn't pull my hair... It's unbelievable really. You are truly gifted in the way that you help people. I look forward to my hair growing longer and longer and looking good for my sister's graduation in May and her wedding in September.

"Hope all is well with you and your family. Thanks again! I couldn't have transformed my life without you!

 

23-year-old Sunny O. began her 90-Day Accelerated Personal Breakthrough program for trichotillomania and dermatillomania in mid-September of last year. Like most of our clients, Sunny had been pulling her hair and picking her skin for many years before coming to see us. Also like many of our clients, she had tried any number of more conventional therapeutic options, only to be bitterly disappointed each and every time.

Predictably, BrightLife was her last stop. Sunny describes her experience with us this way:

BEFORE: "Before I went to BrightLife with Robert and Glei, I would have considered myself a hopeless wreck, literally. I have had Trichotillomania for the past 9 years and I was absolutely positive I had no control over the pulling. In my mind, Trichotillomania had control over me. Trichotillomania was the only way I knew how to deal with all the emotional pain I had throughout my life.

"I was so overwhelmed by all the damage I had done to myself, completely balding my scalp, I knew I needed some professional help. Being turned down by my local Mental Health Center saying "I just have to much time on my hands," I knew they were wrong. I ended up searching the internet for someone or something to help me with my problem, and there was the Bright life web page. I researched it and did my homework about the program, and of course my nerves got the best of me. But I just had to give it a shot. I was desperate for anything at the time.

AFTER: "Honestly it was the best choice I have ever made for myself in my life.

"Robert and Glei have shown me I do have control over Trichotillomania, and I am completely in control of my actions. I just didn't realize it. I have been pull-free for 3 months now and I am so proud of myself for all the progress I have made. I can honestly say I have a feeling of being free of an ongoing addiction I thought I couldn't break away from. With the help of BrighLife, Robert and Glei, I have gained all the confidence, love, and respect I needed for myself.

"...I recommend Brightlife to anyone and everyone who feels they have Trichotillomania or any other mental illness they feel they have no control over. It is worth it. You are worth it!"

 

When we first heard from 17-year-old Nikki P. in March of this year, she had already been pulling her hair for seven years. In her Personal History Questionnaire, she told us she'd "not been able to stop for even one day". When Nikki finally visited us in May with her mother and her aunt, all three got to find out why BrightLife's 90-Day Accelerated Personal Breakthrough Coaching Program for trichotillomania is uniquely special.

** By the way, Nikki — the girl who'd been completely enslaved to trichotillomania every single day for the past seven years — was able to stop pulling after her very first day with us.

Here's an excerpt from an email her mother wrote to us a full month after they'd completed Phase I of Nikki's 90-Day Accelerated Personal Breakthrough Coaching Program:

"Debra (Nikki's aunt), Michael (her father) and I were talking last night and all of us say that we have seen differences in Nicole since she has been back from California. She seems to be overall happier. Kathy said she thinks Nicole is carrying herself differently. She says she keeps looking at her and thinking she is taller. Nicole is standing taller and more confidently. Michael helps coach her softball team. He said he has been able to tell that she is a lot more confident in her ball playing. We are sure this sense of well being will be working in Nicole's favor and we will continue to see things change for her. She has always been an incredible person, but to add a huge dose of confidence will only make her happier in anything she does. I cannot tell you how blessed we feel to have had you work with her."

Nikki and family, we're the ones who feel blessed to have worked with you.

 

22-year-old Anne B. had been pulling her hair for 10 years before contacting us for the help that had all but completely eluded her until that time.

She's glad she did. Here's her story:

BEFORE: Like many of our clients with trichotillomania, Anne's hair-pulling began almost accidentally as a means of dealing with intensely uncomfortable feelings. Again, like many of our clients, Anne found it easier to vent her pent-up feelings of frustration, anger and loss of control by pulling her hair rather than by communicating her feelings honestly and authentically when those feelings would come up — a skill she had not yet learned.

After a recent breakup with a boyfriend, Anne was feeling particularly lost — a problem she couldn't afford to keep, as she was prepared to accept an internship at a prestigious New York design firm. Desperate for help, she contacted us in March of this year, and we began our work together in April.

The results? Here are Anne's own words, describing her elation at her results — and perhaps just as importantly, what she's learning about herself along the way.

Anne B. after her 5 weeks laterAFTER: "Today was another day without hair pulling. I bought a new shampoo to nurture my incoming crop, and felt very affectionate towards my hair today. I felt like it belonged attached to me, and that feeling of my hair as something blocking me from the environment was totally gone.

"I feel much more 'rooted' in myself, you could say. I also was able to tell people how I felt immediately as I was feeling something like anger, etc., and was able to communicate very effectively my emotions and resolve the issue at hand, so that a lot of this need to pull was also totally dispelled!

"I feel so empowered by this new ability to communicate my feelings, and to see how much better my relationships are becoming because of this. Things are definitely shifting for me in letting all of this stuff free and flowing that was pent up inside me!

"I haven't felt so happy in a long time... It continues to amaze me! I feel much more comfortable and confident in myself and feel that every day I am getting closer to that image of myself I had imagined at your home in California. Over 5 weeks of freedom from trichotillomania now, and I am learning how to use all of these new resourcess to my advantage.

"Thank you, I am excited that this is only the beginning, and that there's still so much more to come!"

 

18-year-old Brianna M. came to see us for the first time two and a half years ago. Her mother had brought her to us, desperate for a solution to a problem that had plagued their family for over ten years. Here's her story:

Brianna Before BEFORE: "To anyone who has ever experienced the pain and frustration of trichotillomania, please know that there is help!

"I brought my daughter to numerous doctors, social workers, psychiatrists and therapists throughout her school years to no avail. She tried various medications and behavior techniques. Some methods seemed to work, but only for a while. Every piece of information which I read told me that this disorder was one which my daughter would suffer with for her entire life. Then I heard about The BrightLife Center, and Robert and Glei.

"As a last resort, I convinced my ex-husband to travel to California with our two children. At the time, my heart was in my throat each and every day as I dropped my daughter off to her high school, and watched the other girls laughing and flipping their hair as they entered the school, while my daughter was almost entirely bald from pulling out the hair on her head.

"Strangers would stare, and people would ask me all the time why I wasn't helping her, or why she just wouldn't stop. No one could understand that this was something that was happening since she was in kindergarten, and that I had researched and tried everything in my power to help my daughter!

Brianna AfterAFTER: "Robert and Glei changed my daughter's life. While no one can change the struggles she went through in her younger years, she entered her junior year of high school with a full (if not very short) head of hair for the first time in years!

"She is now a senior, and has held a lead part in a play. While she has always had a fantastic attitude, the change that took place because she was able to take control is truly amazing! She was always the one to tell me throughout the years that she would be able to control her behavior without medication, and that is exactly what Robert and Glei did for her.

"I recommend anyone who has suffered with trichotillomania to stop all other futile attempts and contact BrightLife today!"


Discov Channel LogoOur work is so effective, we have been featured on numerous local, national and even international print, radio and television, including our appearances in the Montreal Gazette, KNX 1070 NewsRadio in Los Angeles, Esquire Magazine, as well as the Discovery Health Channel's six-part television series, Things That Go Bump: Facing Our Fears. On that program, BrightLife Founder Robert Mantell assisted a client to eliminate an intense twenty-year phobia in just 15 minutes! See the video here.


Eradicate the psychological energy driving the behavior, and the compulsion stops dead in its tracks — It's a revolutionary approach by a revolutionary company.

* * * *

To request more information, or to sign up for our world-class Trichotillomania-Relief services, please click here to contact us, or feel free to call our 24-hour voicemail messaging system toll-free at (866) LIFE-NOW. We'll respond back to you right away.

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* Limited excerpts have been borrowed from an article on trichotillomania appearing at the Wikipedia website, at http://en.wikipedia.org.


BrightLife Phobia & Anxiety Release Center can be contacted at:

2010 W. Avenue K, # 644
Lancaster, CA 93536
email: info@fearintopower.com
TOLL-FREE: (866) LIFE-NOW

BrightLife Phobia and Anxiety Release Center has been awarded the prestigious "A+ Rating" for outstanding Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction by the Southland Better Business Bureau!
BrightLife's Founder and Executive Director Robert Mantell is a member in good standing of the American Counseling Association (Membership #06162446).
BrightLife's Founder and Executive Director Robert Mantell. is a member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress.
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BrightLife's Founder and Executive Director Robert Mantell is a member of the National Center for Crisis Management.
CCA Logo BrightLife's Founder and Executive Director Robert Mantell. is a member of the California Counseling Association.
BrightLife's Founder and Executive Director Robert Mantell is a member of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors.


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