Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) is a new evidence-based treatment for chronic tics and Tourette’s Disorder. CBIT has been shown to be effective in reducing tic symptoms and tic-related impairment in children and adults. Treatment for tics and Tourette’s Disorder following CBIT tends to be shorter-term lasting anywhere from 8-12 sessions. However, this can vary on the number and severity of the tics.
CBIT is a behavioral treatment that has three main areas of focus. First, your therapist will help train you to be more aware of your tics. The therapist will then teach you to utilize a competing behavior when you feel the urge to tic. For example, if you have a motor tic that involves flinging your arm out, you might be taught to put your hands on your knees and push gently on your leg until the urge to tic passes. This competing movement disrupts the tic cycle and decreases the tic behavior. Lastly, the therapist will help you make changes in your daily life that can help in reducing your tics.
The training also includes functional intervention. This intervention will help you realize certain places or situations that can worsen your tics, as well as give you assistance on how to be more aware of your own and others’ reactions, feelings or thoughts when those times present themselves. The therapist will work to modify or decrease the most challenging situations for you.
CBIT provides you with the tools and skills to help effectively manage your tics. Your therapist will provide a supportive environment for learning and work collaboratively with you to develop a treatment plan that works best for you. Relaxation techniques may also be integrated as part of treatment to support you with stress reduction and self-care.
More information about tics, Tourette’s Disorder and CBIT can be found by visiting www.tourette.org/research-medical/cbit-overview.