ABOUT

 WHAT IS  

 BEHAVIOR

THERAPY? 

OVERVIEW

Behavior therapy is a broad term for non-drug interventions that use behavioral strategies to help with tics. Aside from medication, behavior therapy is currently the only other evidence-based intervention for tics. The behavioral treatments with the strongest scientific support for tics are habit reversal training (HRT) and, more recently, an expanded version of HRT known as Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT).  Both HRT and CBIT can be helpful for people with tics ages 5-65 years old. Importantly, behavior therapy, unlike medication, is free of side effects, and the benefit usually lasts after someone stops going to therapy visits.

Several national and international professional organizations now recommend behavior therapy as the first-line intervention for tics.  However, recent patient surveys show that medication remains the most commonly received tic treatment. In comparison, it is much less common for people with tics to receive behavior therapy.

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