339. Picking, Pulling and Biting: Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors with Marla Deibler and Renae Reinardy

Research shows that somewhere between 2 and 6% of the population struggles with body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) at a clinical level, which can include behaviors like hair-pulling, skin-picking, and nail-biting (among others). What differentiates BFRBs from other self-grooming behaviors, though, is the unintentional harm they cause to the body and the lack of successful efforts to stop them. To gain a better understanding of these difficult-to-control behaviors that can have detrimental effects on mental and emotional well-being, Michael interviewed clinical psychologists Marla Deibler and Renae Reinardy. If you’re looking to recover from body-focused repetitive behavior, Marla and Renae, who coauthored The BFRB Recovery Workbook, are here to provide up-to-date behavioral science and evidence-based tools specifically tailored to meet your individual needs and help you transform your life for the better!

Listen and Learn: 

  • What are body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs)? 
  • The stigma and dismissive attitude surrounding BFRBs
  • How prevalent are BFRBs?  
  • WTF: What is the function of BFRBs?
  • The importance of viewing change as a process rather than a final outcome 
  • Techniques for experiencing shame, emotional avoidance, and response prevention
  • How to deal with inevitable setbacks


Order your copy of The BFRB Recovery Workbook:

Marla’s Links:

Renae’s Links:

About Dr. Marla Deibler 

Marla Deibler, PsyD, ABPP is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Board-Certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology, and CEO of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia. She is a nationally recognized expert in anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. Dr. Deibler currently serves as faculty member of Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), President of the Board of Directors of OCD New Jersey (OCDNJ), the NJ affiliate of the International OCD Foundation, Consultant for the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders, Visiting Clinical Supervisor at the Rutgers University Psychological Services Clinic, and as a member of the Executive Council for the Association for Contextual Behavioral Sciences (ACBS) OCD Special Interest Group. She is a coauthor of The BFRB Recovery Workbook:  Effective Recovery from Hair Pulling, Skin Picking, Nail Biting, and Other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors.

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About Dr. Renae Reinardy

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Renae M. Reinardy, PsyD, is the founder and director of the Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change. She is the program developer of, a skills-focused online and plush animal system to help children effectively cope with fear, anxiety, and unwanted behaviors. Dr. Reinardy specializes in the treatment of body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, hoarding disorder, Tourette syndrome, and related conditions.

Dr. Reinardy is a faculty member of the Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) for the International OCD Foundation.  She is a coauthor of The BFRB Recovery Workbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Effective Recovery from Hair Pulling, Skin Picking, Nail Biting, and Other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors. Dr. Reinardy is an internationally recognized expert in her areas of specialty and is a frequent media contributor. She is also a presenter and delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

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Episode 339