Living with a tic or Tourettes Syndrome (TS) can be a significant struggle for most people, as there can be a lot of shame and embarrassment involved. Up until very recently, there weren’t many good forms of treatment that offered lasting relief. But new science is showing that cognitive-behavioral intervention therapy (CBIT) can help sufferers of TS and tics.
How Does CBIT Work?
Though TS is a neurological disorder and tics are somewhat involuntary, the urge for both is highly sensitive to the surrounding environmental stressors. Those with TS and/or tics usually experience a specific situation that brings their TS or tics on or worsens them.
CBIT helps children and adults be able to identify those environmental factors that may worsen their symptoms. It also teaches them new skills that will help them predict and manage their symptoms.
Is CBIT Really Effective for TS and Tics?
Complete elimination of tics and TS symptoms can occur with CBIT, though those occurrences are fairly rare. CBIT can, however, significantly reduce the severity of tics and TS symptoms on more than half of people who undergo the therapy, according to National Institutes of Health-funded studies. For instance, one recent study found that 87% of participants who experienced great results after initial therapy continued to do well six months after treatment.
CBIT should not be thought of as a cure for tics or TS but rather as a tool to help people manage their symptoms and greatly improve their quality of life.
Getting Started with CBIT Therapy
If you are interested in experiencing CBIT therapy for yourself, it’s important to find a therapist who has been trained and certified in CBIT with a proven track record. Your therapist can begin to help you identify triggers and offer management solutions for symptoms.
If you’d like to explore treatment options, please give my office a call.