Tics, Tourette Disorder & Trichotillomania Program

The Tics, Tourette Disorder, and Trichotillomania Program, also known as the T3 Program, provides treatment for children and adults with motor, vocal, and body-focused repetitive behaviors. The T3 Program is a Tourette Association of America Center of Excellence, which recognizes our high level of care, groundbreaking research, leaders in training and education, and exceptional community outreach and advocacy for people who have Tourette disorder or other tic disorders.

Dr. Timothy Verduin at the Child Study Center

Dr. Timothy Verduin explains treatment to a family at the Child Study Center.

Tourette disorder is a neurological condition characterized by the existence of both motor and vocal tics for at least a year. Tics are sudden, repetitive movements such as twitches, gestures, or vocalizations. Common motor tics include eye blinking, shoulder shrugging, and facial grimacing. Vocal tics may include throat clearing, coughing, and sniffing.

Trichotillomania is a body-focused repetitive behavior in which a person pulls out his or her hair, usually from the scalp, eyelashes, or eyebrows. The condition often begins during late childhood or adolescence, but can start at any age, including as young as the toddler years. We also treat children and adults with other body-focused repetitive behaviors, including skin picking and nail biting.

Our team at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, is dedicated to the understanding, evaluation, and treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults with these conditions.

Treatment at the T3 Program

Treatment for Tourette disorder and tics may include medication and cognitive behavioral interventions, including Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics, or CBIT. CBIT is a research-supported therapy incorporating habit reversal training that teaches people to increase awareness to physical urges and change their behavior over time. Our specialty team is intensively trained and certified in CBIT.

Habit reversal training is also used to treat trichotillomania and other body-focused repetitive behaviors. We focus on awareness training, stimulus monitoring, competing response training, and social support. For most people, treatment can be completed in 8 to 12 sessions.

We also treat coexisting disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive–compulsive disorder, and mood and anxiety disorders.

Individual and family therapy, as well as parent guidance, are also available. Some children and adolescents need help accessing services within their school and community, or outreach and advocacy, which can be provided.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Mark J. Knepley, PhD, director of the Tics, Tourette Disorder, and Trichotillomania Program, or our care management team at 646-754-4958 or csc.care@nyulangone.org. Our experts also offer insight and tips for parents through our workshops and webinars.