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Saturday Morning Swap Shop

Saturday Morning Swap Shop

This blog post has been a long time coming, I’ve been meaning to write it for a long time as there are probably quite a few people how might find it helpful. Lots of people ask me about Habit Reversal Training like I’m some kind of guru, I’m not I’m afraid, I’m just a ticcer who’s just beginning to get a grip on the Zen like qualities you can gain from being a HRT master, well after some head scratching, but not too much as that causes dandruff. Somebody asked me yesterday about loosing his ticcer superpowers – no, after he has mastered the art of HRT he will still be the witty, charming, intelligent, good-looking ticcer that he is but with the added super power of being able to banish any troublesome tic should they arise. The idea behind HRT, rather like Swap Shop was that you exchange your roller-skates (you could never quite get the hang of them, as the bruises prove) for a Cindy doll (much more civilised). The tics that I have managed to zap (or swap rather) have been my more violent tics, the ones that involve biting, hitting and pain, they have been swapped for something more sedate and less painful. With regards to embarrassing tics, I don’t care, as long as I’m not physically hurting myself or anyone else there’s no point and with the nature of TS it’s bound to leave me and be naturally replaced by something else.

Now here is the useful bit, this list has been lifted wholesale from “The Adult Workbook” for HRT by Douglas Woods

Tic / Competing Response

Body Jerk/ Tighten stomach to buttocks muscles

Body twist/ Stand or sit up straight while tensing back and keep hands to side (or in pockets, under legs)

Evening out/ Hold arms at side

Eye blinking/ Controlled voluntary eye blinking, Stare ahead, focus on an object.

Eyebrow movements (i.e., raise eyebrows or frowning) / Slow, controlled eye blink, Stare at one point, end with one controlled eye blink.

Eye close and holdControlled eye blink.

Eye darting/ Stay focused on one spot in the room and engage in smooth, controlled breathing.

Eye widening/ Tense eyebrows and use controlled breathing.

Facial grimacing / Purse lips together gently

Nose scrunching/ Pull nose down slightly, keep lips pressured shut keep breathing.

Finger movements (i.e., hair twirl, head rubbing)/ Place hands on knees, squeezing if needed. Cross arms.

Flicking toes, curling toes/ Press all toes flat on ground

Head nodding, head jerking/ Tense neck muscles gently, fixate eyes, straighten and tense neck while lowering and tensing shoulders.

Jaw clicking or thrustingLet jaw hang loosely while doing relaxed breathing, holding breath for 2-3 secs before exhale. Close mouth and tense jaw.

Knuckle crackingCross arms, fold hands

Leg lift or ankle twistPush heels into floor, hold knees together tightly.

Leg tensingTense buttocks

Licking lipsClench jaw softly, pressure lips together.

Mouth openingPurse lips, push teeth together, and push tongue up to roof of mouth.

Neck rollTense neck muscles with chin down slightly.

Nose twitchingBreathe in and out through mouth while tensing nose and eyebrows. Purse lips and tense nose.

Nostril flaringClench jaw and pressure lips together.

Picking lipsPlace hands on leg, squeezing if needed. *Wear lipstick or lip balm to keep lips soft.

Shaking head side to side Tense neck in place, push chin toward chest and deep breathe.

Shaking head up and downHold chin down to chest and deep breathe. Tense neck muscles.

Shoulder pooping and shruggingPush hand down on thigh and push elbow toward hip. Tense shoulders in downward position, keep arms at sides.

SpittingPurse lips and use diaphragmatic breathing.

Tensing arm or flailing armInterlock fingers, push shoulders down and push arms into side. If standing up, push shoulders down.

Tongue clickingPush tongue to roof of mouth, close mouth and breathe.

Wrist twistingHand on leg, squeeze leg if needed.

*Giving “the finger” or “the bird” (see vid.)*Pretend to be Winston Churchill and do the V for victory in instead.

In my opinion most of these tics are pretty innocuous and I’ve had most of them at some point and not habit reversed them. These are only suggestions from the book and may or may not work for you, be creative and think of alternatives, the ones marked with * have been added by myself.

Beware naughty words in vid.

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