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Habit Reversal Training

Habit reversal training (HRT) is a form of behavior therapy designed to manage repetitive, problematic, and undesired behaviors that cause physical and functional impairment. Examples of these habitual behaviors include tics, stuttering, and body-focused repetitive behaviors, such as hair pulling, skin picking, nail biting, and thumb sucking. HRT was first described by prominent behavioral psychologists Nathan Azrin and Robert Nunn in 1973. In their initial article, Azrin and Nunn detailed the application of HRT to a variety of “habits.” Subsequent research has consistently demonstrated that HRT, whether used as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with elements of other treatments, is effective in managing a variety of repetitive behaviors.

This entry begins with a brief history of HRT, followed by a description of HRT and a ...

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