Occupational Therapy for Excoriation (Skin-Picking) Disorder

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with excoriation (skin-picking) disorder. 

We are a registered NDIS provider and use an inclusive approach to therapy, where the person can be in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

How can occupational therapy benefit people with excoriation (skin-picking) disorder?

A mental health occupational therapist is different from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Mental health occupational therapists look at how your condition affects the functional aspects of your life and work with you on ways to improve this.

Occupational therapy can benefit people with excoriation (skin-picking) disorder in several ways:

1. Identifying Triggers and Developing Coping Strategies: Occupational therapists can help individuals with excoriation disorder identify triggers that lead to skin picking and develop effective coping strategies. They may use cognitive-behavioral techniques, such as mindfulness, relaxation exercises, and grounding techniques, to address the underlying factors contributing to the skin-picking behavior.

2. Sensory Integration: Occupational therapists can address sensory processing difficulties, as these may be associated with excoriation disorder. They can provide sensory integration therapy to help individuals regulate their sensory input, reducing the compulsion to pick their skin.

3. Self-Regulation Skills: Occupational therapists can teach individuals with excoriation disorder skills to enhance self-regulation. These may include techniques like deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and self-management strategies to manage stress, anxiety, or emotional dysregulation, which can trigger skin picking episodes.

4. Habit Reversal Training: Occupational therapists can employ habit reversal training, a behavior therapy technique that involves replacing the skin-picking behavior with a more constructive action. They can assist individuals in identifying substitute behaviors such as squeezing a stress ball or doing other activities that keep the hands occupied.

5. Skill Development: Occupational therapists can help individuals learn alternative activities to engage in instead of skin picking. They can assist in developing skills like knitting, drawing, painting, or playing musical instruments, which can serve as a distraction and provide a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

6. Environmental Modifications: Occupational therapists can assess and modify the environment to make it less conducive to skin picking. For example, they may recommend implementing tactile fidget toys, changing the texture of surfaces, or modifying lighting to reduce visual stimulus that may trigger skin-picking behavior.

7. Education and Support: Occupational therapists can educate individuals about excoriation disorder, its impact, and treatment options. They can provide support in managing stress, improving self-esteem, enhancing body image, and connecting with support groups or other individuals dealing with similar challenges.

Overall, occupational therapy can play a crucial role in addressing the physical, emotional, and functional aspects of excoriation disorder, promoting healthier coping skills, and improving the individual’s overall quality of life. It is important to note that occupational therapy should be conducted as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, which may include other therapies and interventions.

Occupational therapy assessments for excoriation (skin-picking) disorder

We are able to provide many types of occupational therapy assessments online, including Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA) and reports required for the NDIS. Please see this article for more information on assessments we can provide.

NDIS registered provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and work with self-managed, plan-managed and agency-managed clients. 


If your are an NDIS provider or support coordinator we can provide reliable occupational therapy for clients with excoriation (skin-picking) disorder in any location. Refer a client and we’ll connect you to the right clinician. 

Is online occupational therapy effective?

Yes! A growing body of evidence shows that online delivery of therapy can be as effective as face to face. Online therapy has many other benefits too, including being convenient and accessible for people in regional and rural areas.  

How does online occupational therapy work?

At Umbo online therapy is not just zoom plus business-as-usual. It’s much more diverse than simply videoconferencing. Umbo therapists provide an individualised approach to each person, using the latest evidence, and a variety of technologies and engagement techniques.

Umbo champions person-centred therapy. It means the person and their family/support people leads the conversation. We believe that the most effective therapy occurs when support is given in the environment where the person lives, learns, works or plays. Therefore we work with the family, and teach skills to you or to other supporters. This means you’re achieving real-life goals, rather than just achieving goals in a clinic.

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