Mindfulness-based BFRB Group Therapy (MBGT)

Group Therapy for Adults with Skin Picking, Hair Pulling, and other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs)

This group is for you if:

  • You are missing out on living the life you want to live because of your BFRB.
  • You are tired of trying to manage your BFRB on your own with little to no success and are ready to find something that truly works.
  • You feel embarrassed, isolated, frustrated, or ashamed of your BFRB and its effects on your life.


You’ve tried so many tips and tricks to stop the behavior, and although some work for a bit, nothing gets you to a place of being able to consistently manage the behavior. You probably blame yourself for not working hard enough to get better, but the truth is, it is not your fault.

Most people (including most therapists) don’t know how to manage these behaviors, and they often mistakenly believe that you need to focus on stopping the behavior in order to get better, BUT THIS DOESN’T WORK.

You can only stop the behavior for so long before you slip and do it again, which frustrates you even more, leading to more of the behavior, more guilt and shame, etc.

It’s time to end the cycle!

I’m Laura Chackes, a psychologist who has specialized in treating BFRBs for over 18 years.

I used to believe that the only way to relieve the suffering that these disorders caused was to focus primarily on stopping the behaviors. But over time I’ve learned that this is not the most effective approach. Through consulting with other experts in the field and my clinical experience of working with hundreds of people with BFRBs,

I’ve developed a program that really works. It incorporates the 7 ingredients that lead to long-term recovery: acknowledgement, awareness, targeted interventions, SMART goals, accountability, support, and self-compassion.

**Exciting Updates: Starting in January 2024, I am conducting a clinical trial in collaboration with Dr. Erika Nurmi at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) to officially test the effectiveness of this approach. Dr. Nurmi and others have been impressed with the results I’ve seen clinically, and thus we are excited to use data from our clients who complete the treatment groups to empirically validate the results.

I am also now able to practice in 40 PSYPACT participating states. To see if your state is included click here: Participating States

This group is the absolute BEST way we know to get you to:

  • A place where YOU are in control of your BFRB instead of it controlling you
  • A life free from the pain and suffering your BFRB has caused
  • Feeling self-confident, happy, closer in your relationships, and excited to do the things you love to do!

The adults with BFRBs who have completed the online group have reported the following:

  • “I am a lot kinder to myself when I am having a bad BFRB day. Whereas before the class I would be really hard on myself making me even more upset. My pulling and picking have definitely decreased. Though I still have an occasional bad day with one or the other.”
  • “There has been a decrease in my picking. I still tend to scratch and pick a little at my skin daily, but I don’t let go much farther than that. I have also been trying to be more compassionate to myself in relation to picking and to myself in general.”
  • “I think I’ve changed a lot since the beginning of the class. I’m more aware of my picking, I’ve learned new strategies, and I definitely beat myself up less after an episode so my suffering has gone way down. I’m so glad to have these tools to take into the future.”
  • “I finally have tools with which I can manage my BFRB. I haven’t quit picking but when I do the behaviour is more normalised and less damaging. I can have a lapse without it becoming a relapse and I finally have more self acceptance and self compassion when I do struggle. The behaviour has also reduced greatly for me, I feel like I am a person in recovery from my BFRB not someone ruled by it.”


Here’s what you can expect when you join From Suffering to Self-Confident:

  • 11 weeks of pre-recorded videos with concrete action steps designed to put you in the driver’s seat of your BFRB, even if you’ve tried many strategies and treatment approaches without success.
  • Weekly group therapy sessions to provide you with accountability, connection with others who also have BFRBs, and the support you need to work through any obstacles that start to get in your way.
  • A private Facebook group just for course participants to share with each other in a more private, intimate setting to gain support and stay accountable with the course homework.
  • A private Facebook group for alumni after completion of the 10-week program for continued support and accountability for as long as you need it.
  • Optional monthly coaching calls for alumni to keep up progress made for $20 per month.


Course Outline:

*We will meet once before you begin the Week 1 course material to meet each other and set intentions for the next 10 weeks.

Week 1:  Establish a regular mindfulness practice to help maintain awareness, focus, stress reduction, and management of any emotional contributors to your BFRB.

Week 2:  Become more aware of when you’re doing your BFRB by identifying your specific triggers, thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that lead to or exacerbate your BFRB through tracking.

Weeks 3-5:  Learn strategies to address triggers in each of the following categories: sensory, cognitive, affective, motoric, and place/environment. Develop a plan of effective tools specifically designed for you based on how, when, and why you do the behaviors, as well as a reward plan to help you stick to your plan.

Week 6:  Be able to consistently sit with your urges and not act on them for increasingly longer periods of time.

Week 7:  Learn how to accept and love yourself even if you are not able (or don’t want to) completely stop the behavior, through self-compassion training.

Week 8:  Gradually face feared situations and people so that you are no longer avoiding anything that you want to have in your life.

Week 9:  Improve relationships by learning effective communication strategies for you and your loved ones to talk about your BFRB and how they can best support you, including how to handle your BFRB in new relationships.

Week 10:  Keep your successes up over time with a personalized relapse prevention plan that includes continued support and accountability after the course is complete.

More Details:

  • Course date is currently TBD: join the wait list to be notified here.
  • There will be 10 weeks of course material and 1 extra session at the beginning of the course for everyone to meet, go over the expectations, and set intentions.
  • The course material can be viewed at any time throughout the week and kept forever to refer back to.
  • This course has been offered online for $699 for the past 5 years. We have now created a section just for Missouri and the 40 PSYPACT states so that we can bill Anthem, UHC/UMR, Medicare, Aetna & Cigna insurance for the weekly group therapy. So, you are essentially getting all of the course material for free, and only paying your copay or towards your deductible (usually $30-40 per week depending on your insurance plan), or $40 per week if you live in one of the 40 PSYPACT states and would like to self-pay.
  • Once you register here you will be sent a link to register in our Electronic Health Records (EHR) system called Therapy Appointment. This program will collect your demographic and insurance information, as well as your credit card for missed sessions and/or co-pays.


So, if you’re ready to go from that place of utter frustration and desperation because nothing you’ve tried has worked, to a place where you feel at peace because your BFRB no longer controls your life, with a streamlined system that gives YOU control of your BFRB in less than 4 months, please register now to secure your spot.

When: TBD: click the “Learn More” button to be notified of upcoming dates
Where: Via HIPAA-compliant virtual meeting
Cost: $40/session for self-pay or if you do not attend a session (each week is automatically billed), Anthem, UHC/UMR, Medicare, Aetna & Cigna plans also accepted.
Led by: Laura Chackes, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist and Founder of The Center for Mindfulness & CBT, and Lauren Hendrix, MA, PLPC, Counselor at The Center for Mindfulness & CBT.

Laura Chackes, Psy.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and Founder of The Center for Mindfulness & CBT, and Lauren Hendrix, MA, PLPC,  is a counselor at The Center for Mindfulness & CBT.