(Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics)

CBIT is a powerful technique that has been studied for over 25 years and has shown to be as effective as medication with no negative side effects. CBIT has also been proven to reduce the severity of tics and reflects the current understanding of the brain’s plasticity.

CBIT (Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics) is a non-medicated treatment (behavioral therapy) for tics/tourettes that teaches a person to become aware of their behavior and helps them improve. CBIT is a systematic, carefully planned, and custom created treatment based on the patient’s needs. CBIT has three important components. 1. Awareness – Help patients become aware of their urge to tic. 2. Behavior – Choose and practice behaviors in place of the tic. 3. Changes – Identify the tic and make positive changes. Some of these techniques are already used in managing Touretts.  However, CBIT takes the most effective concepts and blends them to optimize outcomes.

CBIT is a highly-structured therapy administered once a week by Mindy Meyer and Heather Klemm. Treatments will be adjusted to meet the needs of the patient. The first step in CBIT is to teach the patient to be aware of the urges felt prior to ticcing. The next step is to teach the patient a competing response – this response can be used when the patient feels urge to tic.

Tics are neurological in nature. In addition, tics are sensitive to the environment in which they occur. CBIT attempts to familiarize and identify environmental factors that make their tics. CBIT also teaches skills to create environments that are more stable, predictable and easily manageable.

It is important to understand that CBIT will not work for every patient. For example, children with untreated ADHD may be more difficult because of problems associated with the existing condition. Likewise, other existing conditions or social problems can make CBIT more difficult.

A recent study showed that 87% of participants who had success with CBIT continued to do well six months after treatment. To be clear, CBIT is not a cure; it is a treatment and management strategy that can be applied as needed.