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She Grew New Hair

When I first met Akeelah (not her real name), she wore a bandana into my office. This older pre-teen was referred because, I was told, she was pulling out her hair.


I noticed that she had no eye lashes and no eye brows. I didn't ask about what was or wasn't under the bandana.


She was a sweet child - kind hearted and sensitive to the feelings of others. I liked her immediately.


I saw her twice before I had to miss sessions on two consecutive weeks. In the second session we began EMDR therapy with her.


When I returned from my trip, I saw her again. Amazingly I could see the beginnings of eye-brows and eye lashes. I asked her how she was doing. She excitedly told me that she didn't feel the urge to pull her hair any more.


At that point I asked if I could see under her bandana. She immediately and without any reservation took it off. She had pulled out all her hair from her forehead all the way back to the back of her head, some what like male pattern baldness would look like. But in that area, there was an eighth of an inch of new hair.


I was amazed. She was so happy, so excited. And so was I.


Hair pulling is an anxiety issue. The only thing I can conclude after that demonstration is that EMDR works on anxiety.


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