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Readiness for Change

The advantages of using on an ongoing basis are obvious: to reduce or stop skin picking and allow healing to begin, to decrease avoidance of activities because of scarring or skin damage, to improve self-esteem and confidence, to learn more about SISP, and to feel in control of your behavior.

However, working this program is a daily commitment that will involve some time and energy each day. In order to gain control of your picking, scratching or biting, you will need to pay attention to your behavior, your thoughts, your feelings, and a number of other things each day. Even if you are not able to log-on every day, you will need to "catch up" the next time you log-on for the day(s) missed. Although this is a commitment of time and energy, it will be worth it if you can change your behavior.

Sometimes people realize that they are not willing to put forth the effort required to gain control of their picking. Oftentimes this is because they were not "ready" to make the changes in the first place. Readiness is a very important part of behavioral change. For example, many people want to start an exercise program and plan to do so and may even take some steps to begin a program (like join a health club). After a few weeks, however, they forget about the new program and fall back into old habits. The same is true with SISP. Many people want to stop and may even make some efforts to make changes, but these efforts peter out after a short time and they "give up" or simply "forget" about their goals.

One goal of this section is to let people know that readiness for change is a very important ingredient in the recipe for success. If by reading this section you decide that you are not ready, that is OK! Lots of people want to stop picking, but are simply not there yet. Another goal of this section is to help people get to the point of readiness. We are hoping to help people who are almost ready to get to the point of action. Ways to get to the point of action are:

1. Begin to imagine yourself as someone who does not pick their skin, imagine your skin beginning to heal and your scars fading over time. Really fantasize about how this would be for you and really see yourself in a different way.

2. Tell someone that doesn't know about your behavior that you pick. Because SISP is a behavior surrounded with shame, people hide their symptoms from most people in their lives. Telling others that you pick your skin can start to break down the shame and foster self-acceptance. Joining a group of people who also pick or attending a TLC retreat or convention can catapult you into action and self-acceptance.

3. Start to educate others about SISP. Once you have told some people about your behavior you can begin to educate others about what it is and how common a behavior it is (i.e., 4% of college students do it). You will likely be surprised at how others will not only support you, but may even tell you how they know people who do the same thing!

Learn more about...

What is self-injurious skin picking or "SISP"?
How many people have SISP?
What causes SISP?
Who picks their skin?
When is SISP a problem?
How do we treat SISP?
A Dermatologist's Perspective
Readiness for Change

About Skin Picking...  

Severe skin picking appears to be a way for some people to increase their activity levels when they are bored, or to control their emotions when they are anxious, tense, or upset.


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