Client Success Stories:
The following success stories do not predict your success in my program. Your results will depend on the following circumstances: your completion of the program and following recommendations made for you throughout. Most clients under those circumstances experience 80-95% reduction of picking in 4 to 5 months.
“~ 1 minute of picking in the last 52 days”
I spent 15 years of my life consumed with my picking compulsion. I talked to therapists but they could not help, and tried countless strategies myself to try and stop. I had all but lost hope that I would ever be free of this compulsion that was ruining my life and I felt like a victim. It was tearing me apart.
Finally I searched for books on dermatillomania which led me to Annette. I reached out to her for help with my disorder and from that point onwards I was in safe hands.
I was not confident in my ability to stop (having failed to do so countless times), nor did I believe I would necessarily overcome my disorder. However, Annette was able to quickly help me make practical adjustments to my home environment and my behaviours so as to significantly reduce the behaviour. From there we dealt with aspects including my thoughts, coping strategies and diet.
By the end of our 3 months together I had stopped picking entirely (at the time of writing I have done a total of ~1 minute of picking in the last 52 days).
I am free of this behaviour thanks to Annette’s help, and I can sincerely say she has changed my life. It is a huge burden that has been lifted from my shoulders, and I am eternally grateful to Annette for her help. It is hard to express in words what it means to me overcoming this compulsion. It is not just the freedom from the shame, guilt and scars I was inflicting on myself. Freedom from picking has unleashed a sense of power, self-confidence and self-belief that I can stop and change any behaviour that is not beneficial to me. I no longer feel like a victim and I am free from this disorder. Thank you Annette and I hope you help many more people like me!
I wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone and everyone who suffers from compulsive skin picking. I urge you to get help as soon as possible, and not suffer any longer than is necessary. Reach out to Annette and let her help you, you will not regret it.
When I decided to start coaching with Annette, my mindset was the same as someone who decides to start a new diet: I’m going to try this, but, I know in the end it’s not going to work. And with THAT positive attitude, I started coaching (ha). I listened (passively), I followed her recommendations (half-heartedly), and I….KEPT PICKING! My head, my arms, my chest. Just as I had “predicted” this was never going to work and I would be wearing long sleeves for the rest of my life and having to time my haircuts by how bad the scalp scabs were. But then, something switched. I had really reached bottom. The scars were no longer able to heal themselves away – emotionally or physically. It was just too much and I was ready to try ANYTHING (even if I still felt I knew better). And guess what?? I went from picking HOURS a day to between 5-15 minutes a day! Am I 100% pick free? Not YET. But, it has only been a couple months! HOWEVER, can I schedule a haircut without worrying or roll up my sleeves while washing dishes at work without thinking people are staring at me? YES! I am not at “tank top” level improvement yet but I am working on it. And, as personal as this post may seem, this is as personal as you can be with Annette as your coach. She is not someone who has STUDIED skin picking – – she is someone who has LIVED THROUGH skin picking. To have someone you can “confess” all of your skin-picking demons to, and get a nod of understanding without judgement in response, is PRICELESS! The journey you are about to embark on is NOT always going to be fun or easy. But, I promise you, if you surrender to the process, it WILL be informative, helpful, necessary, and ultimately LIFE-CHANGING.
“Finding Annette was a God-send!”
Annette’s program has turned my world around for me. I have struggled with skin picking, mostly on my arms, for the last 8 years and it progressively got worse and worse until I realized I needed professional help. I felt hopeless and trapped and didn’t know where to go. Finding Annette was a God-send! In our private coaching sessions, she guided me through the process, step by step, to successfully eliminate my bad skin picking habits. She helped me get down to the root of why I pick and we built my battle plan based off of that. Annette gave me new strategies to try every week that built upon each other and so many of them made a night and day difference! And they stuck! I do almost no picking at all now! I feel so much more in control now and confident in myself. Now I know how to control my urges and I even have way less urges than I used to because of all the exercises we did together! I am so glad I went to Annette; there couldn’t have been anyone better. I would recommend her to anyone struggling with this problem in a heartbeat.
“Coaching was really life changing”
I want you to know that coaching was really life changing for me. Although I still struggle with picking at times, it no longer has the same hold on me. I no longer feel the intense guilt or shame about it, and I no longer have the sense that my picking is holding me back from hopes and dreams that I hold.
I feel so much more gentle and compassionate toward my skin, toward my picking, and toward myself. Not that I’m somehow magically a different person, instead I am still fully me, but in a way that knows how to hold space for the part of myself whose solution for stress and discomfort is to pick. Before, I tried to kick that girl right out of the club, and now, I instead try to be a compassionate friend to that part of myself. That part of me deserves a place at the table, because her role is to point out confusion, discomfort and shame. Now, instead of trying to squash this part, I try really hard to understand and listen. I still have to remind myself that we are not in a battle with each other, but instead are working through challenges together!
It was sometimes a lot of work, but each time I was willing to put focused attention on something you taught me I benefited. I also am very glad that I went ahead and did the individual coaching. It was so comforting and encouraging to have that check-in time with you, and I felt so understood and accepted.
“I am more in control of my life”
Before I started Annette’s program I felt out of control with my picking, had little self awareness of why I was picking and possessed no real tools to stop. After taking her 4-month program, I am more in control of my life and moving toward a healthier way of dealing with stress. Annette will provide you with many tools to help you cope with situations in a more productive, mindful and healthy way. For the first time in my life, I feel that I can finally overcome this problem which has defined me for so long. I am so grateful to Annette and would recommend her program to anyone who struggles with this compulsion.
“I recommend this coaching program to anyone struggling with skin picking.”
My skin picking began about ten years ago. I’ve always felt alone, ashamed and embarrassed. I have previously attempted to stop but it was always a short lived success. I felt like I could never stop this cycle! I came across Annette’s course whilst searching the internet and I knew that I had to join. I was very worried about opening up and living on student loans but I can honestly say that it is the best money I have invested in myself.
The coaching programme was definitely what I needed. I learnt so much about skin picking, my triggers and how to break this habit cycle. All of this was done in a great and supportive environment with a group of lovely ladies who completely understood each other.
Annette is a fantastic coach. She is very knowledgeable. She was very understanding and made sure everyone got the same support.
I reduced my picking significantly throughout the course; I went from picking for over an hour a day to a couple of minutes and having many pick free days a week. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have learnt so much about myself and I am well equipped to keep making progress.
I recommend this coaching program to anyone struggling with skin picking. You will not regret it.
“I have been free from skin picking for over five months”
As an adult, I found myself with a new habit – picking my face in the bathroom mirror, for hours on end. I fell into a cycle of shame and self-loathing, and would go weeks telling myself that I was strong enough on my own to make it stop, without help or guidance… only to have the cycle start all over again. One morning, after a serious bout in front of the bathroom mirror, I knew I had to make a change. Annette has given me the tools to manage my impulse to pick, and has taught me techniques to manage my anxiety. I have been free from skin picking for over five months, and I wake up in the morning knowing my face is smooth and clear. <br/br>Annette is warm, patient and without judgement or pretense. She has truly made a huge impact in my day to day life. I employ the techniques she has given me every day, and I have a deeper understanding of how I can be kind to myself.
“the program was an investment in myself”
I struggled with picking for about 15 years and tried persistently to stop on my own for at least a decade. I felt like I was failing over and over. I remained optimistic, but each time I “failed” it became harder to take myself seriously and believe things would ever be different.
When I found Annette’s book it felt like new hope. I read it multiple times and was determined to become free of the compulsion of picking. I was able to apply many of her recommendations and make positive changes, but I also had setbacks…some very major and emotionally difficult. I knew something was missing.
Deep down, I suspected Annette’s coaching and accountability was what I needed. But I was scared to start opening up and talking about my problem with anyone except my husband and immediate family, and I was also concerned about cost (being a student living exclusively on loans).
The day after one of my lowest lows, I came to the realization that the program was an investment in myself – a way out of the decade plus of struggles, anxiety, self-consciousness, embarrassment, self-loathing, and wasted time, money, and energy from picking and trying to cover my scars. I decided to join one of her groups, and there hasn’t been a moment since that I have doubted it was the right choice. The accountability, camaraderie, and personalized coaching in our small group helped me learn and apply things that I couldn’t on my own. The changes became actually sustainable.
Ten years ago I would have been mortified to talk to anyone about my picking. The experience of group coaching not only made me feel free of the compulsion, but free to accept that I struggle with this and open up to more friends about it (who were totally supportive! I don’t know what I was afraid of all those years).
Today I cannot say that I never pick. But the trend toward freedom from compulsion, clear skin, more confidence, spontaneity, relaxation, and inner peace is undeniable. I know I have Annette’s group coaching to thank for that.
“I had tried everything…”
I wholeheartedly recommend Annette and her programme to anyone with a body-focused repetitive behaviour (BFRB). As a skin picker for nearly 25 years, I had tried everything but never managed to make a lasting change – until now.
“I know first hand that quitting is possible”
After ten plus years feeling out of control and helpless to stop picking, I was scouring the Internet for the hundredth time trying to find something that might actually help when I finally discovered Annette’s Stop Skin Picking Coach site. Of course I was doubtful at first, but as I read more I realized this wasn’t the usual “Tips and Tricks to Stop Skin Picking” which I had frankly seen enough of. I had tried every tip and trick in the book, and had finally realized that this wasn’t something that I could change just by cutting my fingernails short, or applying thick fake nails, or wearing band aids over every finger, or any other suggestion on any other blog or comment thread that was supposed to help. Sure, those things worked for a while, until I inevitably found a way to pick anew because none of them did anything about the actual urge to pick.
Annette’s approach seemed different, and I was comforted by the fact that she was a recovering skin picker herself. So, after reading the full Freedom Kit and some testimonials just like this one I finally decided to take the plunge and had my breakthrough session with Annette. I had never before spoken to anyone else who was a self-professed skin picker, much less someone who had managed to break free of it, and that alone gave me hope. But I won’t pretend that I was sold right away. In that initial session I realized how much work we were really talking about if I wanted to stop picking, and though I had always thought I was ready to be done with picking I realize that I actually wasn’t. This is one of the first things that Annette’s program taught me. You have to be ready to stop picking and willing to make real lifestyle changes to do it. This isn’t just “tips and tricks”; Annette’s approach is different. And though I didn’t actually start a coaching program until about 7 months later, I started making some of the changes she suggested in that initial session right away. Because of that first session, I decided to work on getting myself ready to be done with picking, and for the first time in a long time I was hopeful about quitting.
When I was finally ready, I joined a group coaching series with Annette, and I got the tools I needed to deal with my picking urges and make positive changes in all facets of my life. Again, I won’t pretend it was easy. It was a lot of work. But in the end it was completely worth it. The changes I made and continue to make have improved my life in general —not just my picking—in important, meaningful ways. Before starting coaching, I would often feel hopeless and helpless to stop picking. But with the support of Annette and other pickers in the group I’m hopeful because I know first-hand that quitting is possible. Like anyone with a years-long addiction, I have relapses and there are times when it is not easy to be picking-free, but for the first time ever I feel like I am in control and that I have all of the knowledge I need. I have Annette’s coaching to thank for that.
San Diego, California
“I am most pleased with how my face and hands look now”
I approached Annette initially because I have dealt with Hair Pulling and Skin Picking for more than 25 years of my life. I had finished a work trip during which I picked and pulled my face and hands into a mess. Being a male in my mid-40s, it was time I did something different about my issue and after my initial meeting with Annette I decided to invest in her program.
One thing I liked about the entire experience was working with Annette from the comfort of my own home. No office to go to, no uncomfortable room or couch, just me at my home and her at hers, very nice. Spending time together on Skype was like having a chat with a Coach that was also a friend.
The results for me upon completion of the program were great. I had numerous tools to work with, and had a better understanding of where, why, how, and what triggered my picking/pulling impulses. While I still have desires and sometimes bad days, they are much more infrequent and I have ways to deal with them differently now. I am most pleased with how my face and hands look now compared to when I started. I feel like I’ve come a long way.
If you are someone that is dealing with Skin Picking and/or Hair Pulling, either male or female, I would recommend Annette’s program to you. Working with someone that understands the issue and has a proven coaching method is well worth your time and investment.
I can’t thank her enough for the positive changes I have made with the help of her program.
“Your coaching program deserves an A+”
Your coaching program deserves an A+. Thank you so much for your time and effort and the huge positive impact you’ve had on my life.”
San Francisco, CA
“I went from picking 90+ minutes a day to 10 or even 5”
For 22 years I have picked at my skin; mostly my face. My arms, buttocks, thighs, scalp, back, neck, were not ignored, though…not at all. I picked to calm myself, find inner solitude, or to cope with stress, hunger, anger, fatigue, or even boredom. I knew that what I was doing wasn’t healthy behavior, but I was ashamed and at a loss for available resources. Conventional talk therapy (3 rounds with different therapists) never got to the crux of the issue and certainly was not giving me the tools that I needed.
Fast forward to Spring of 2015. I learned that what I was doing to my skin had a name, dermatillomania. I learned that there were Facebook groups dedicated to the support and community of people with this disorder. Most importantly, I found Dr. Annette Pasternak. I made the decision to schedule a Skype meeting with Annette and then continue with her 4-month program. Within our very first session I started to feel like I was going to be able to chip away at this fossilized belief that I would never be able to stop my skin picking. Within those 4 months, I went from picking 90+ minutes every day to 10 or even 5 minutes a day! Annette helped me to identify when and why I picked and how to make choices that could curb my impulses.
I now have tools to heal myself and my skin. My proudest moment was when I was able to attend my husband’s company picnic in a sleeveless shirt and sit for the airbrush tattoo artist. It was then that I looked down at my arm and saw NO scabs and no angry red marks. In that moment, I realized how much I was able to achieve with Annette’s coaching.
It is almost 2 months after our last session and I know that I still have some personal work to do to be completely free of my skin picking, but I am armed with an arsenal of new, healthy habits that I can use every day in place of the old unhealthy ones. I can choose to stop picking and I do. Thanks, Annette!
“easy and super convenient to have our sessions from the privacy of my own home”
I have been picking at my skin for as long as I can remember. I found Annette online after a particularly bad episode one night. I felt hopeless, that this was something that would never get better. I was embarrassed to wear short sleeve shirts, and felt like I always needed to wear my hair down to cover any marks on the back of my neck. After reading about Annette’s own recovery from skin-picking, and the support she offered through her coaching, I felt like there may be some hope for me.
I emailed her and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly she got back to me. I had never used Skype and wasn’t sure about what to expect, but it turned out to be easy and super convenient to have our sessions from the privacy of my own home. I have talked to therapists about my skin picking before, but I never felt like they truly understood what I was going through or how to help. Annette is able to combine her own personal experience with her education in a very relatable and useful way.
It has been about four months since I first started working with Annette and I have seen so much improvement! Not only do I feel comfortable wearing short sleeves, I also recently cut my hair super short – something I felt I couldn’t do when my picking was really out of control. I have gotten rid of a lot of the shame that I was carrying around with me about picking, and have learned many tools that help improve the quality of my life.
Picking isn’t something that became a habit overnight, and it took me patience and effort to improve. I can say that it has been so worth it and I would recommend Annette to anyone who is struggling and willing to get some help. There is hope!
“I can now go to the gym without makeup.”
I have been a skin picker for about 20 years. I didn’t even realize it was a problem until about five years ago when it really got out of hand and was causing me a lot of distress. I’ve seen numerous counselors and doctors but what has helped me the most has been my sessions with Annette. She holds me accountable and we make small goals each time we meet. I am not 100% pick free but I have improved a lot and picking isn’t interfering with my life like it was before. I can now go to the gym without make up and I am in a much more calm state on a day to day basis. I have more work to do but I feel a lot more confident in my ability to overcome picking. Thank you Annette!”
“My picking has stopped nearly completely.”
I found Annette at the absolute perfect time. I had been picking for most of my life, but I had never identified with it. I had never owned it. I didn’t realize that not only was it a problem, but that it was a problem that was bleeding into nearly every aspect of my life. One night, all of that changed. I went on a picking rampage so damaging that I just fell to my knees and sobbed. I had an “aha” moment. I felt stuck and without hope. I thought, “Why am I doing this to myself? Can I stop this? How? Do I need help?” That is when I began feverishly searching online for answers, guidance, and support. And that is when I found Annette and emailed her at three in the morning asking for help. After sending that email, I already felt a sense of relief. Asking for help and recognizing the problem was the first step and it felt so good to own my struggle. Good and scary, at the same time.
Annette is not only an expert in her field, but draws from her own personal experience in order to guide her clients. She provides support, compassion, and accountability. She is direct and kind, open and generous. I have learned so much from her and immediately felt comfortable talking things out with her. I now know that my picking was the physical manifestation of the shame and immense self-doubt I felt in my life. Not believing I was good enough, striving for “perfection,” and lack of boundaries all contributed to my compulsion. Not being able to say no and my constant self-punishment/guilt directly fed my need to physically punish myself by picking. Annette has given me so many invaluable tools to employ when these thought patterns pop up and I feel the need to pick and as a result my picking has nearly stopped completely! I could not be more proud and grateful to Annette. I’ve learned that a shift in perception is a very powerful thing and I can CHOOSE how I perceive my picking, my skin, and my recovery process. What I also love about this program is how Annette incorporates diet and nutrition. Changes in my diet have given me a sense of control and reduced my overall anxiety. Also, I think a huge thing for me has been simply owning my picking. Admitting I had a problem, seeking help, and actively taking care of myself has provided me with a confidence and strength throughout the last few months.
With my newfound strength, self-forgiveness, and power over my picking I have found a peace that I have not felt for years. My recovery has affected my everyday life and overall mood, strengthened my relationships, and given me more confidence in my work. I feel excited for what’s to come which I haven’t felt in a long time and that faith, hope, and enthusiasm for life is simply priceless. Thank you Annette, for everything!
Los Angeles, CA
“I’m so glad I had the courage to take the first step”
Thanks to Annette’s help, I can now proudly say that I am on the road to recovery from skin picking. Within only a few months of working with her, I have drastically cut my picking down from half an hour or more per day to mere minutes per week. I have become much more aware of when I am picking or likely to start, and I have plenty of tools at my disposal to control the urges.
Before I started the program, I had no idea what to expect. I had never opened up to anyone about this problem before and had never worked with a health coach, so I wasn’t quite sure whether it would be right for me. But I could tell that if anyone could help me, it would be Annette. Her compassionate style combined with her insights and intimate familiarity with all aspects of skin picking, which come from experiencing it herself and working with so many others to control it, helped me to feel at ease in our sessions. She also provided me with techniques to decrease my anxiety, support in my quest to heal my skin holistically, and – perhaps most importantly — accountability to keep me on track.
I am so glad I had the courage to take the first step, and I feel as though I have accomplished so much in such a short period of time. Thank you, Annette, for offering a beacon of hope to everyone struggling with this problem.”
“my urge to pick is gone most of the time”
Skin picking controlled my life for over 20 years. At first I didn’t know it was a disorder. About 8 years ago I recognized myself in the story of a skin-picker on the internet. Then I thought: “Ok, I’ll just stop picking.” When that didn’t work, I was so disappointed in myself. I also reached out for help but never found the right person. I was beginning to feel hopeless. I’m so glad I finally found Annette. It was so liberating to hear that I wasn’t a loser because I couldn’t stop on will-power alone. She taught me to stop focusing on the hopelessness and how it can be done by focusing on small positive steps.
For me, acceptance was very important. The sentence, ”What we resist persists,”is so true! I was always too focused on having perfect skin and on being 100% skin picking-free. I used to think that if I would accept this problem, it would never go away, but the opposite is true.
By taking small steps, I came to the point that I can control my picking, and my urge to pick is gone most of the time. With the tools Annette gave me I reduced my skin picking to the point that it isn’t an issue anymore. It doesn’t take up my time and I don’t check in the mirror before I go out. I’m not hiding in my house anymore and can enjoy everyday life again.”
“the best results in the quickest amount of time”
I’m so grateful that I found Annette. I’ve had trich for 40 years and skin picking for roughly 20, The picking has become much more prominent in recent years. I’ve been to counselors and to psychiatrists and have tried a number of other therapeutic options, but the coaching that I’ve received from Annette has provided me the best results in the quickest amount of time. I think it’s the combination of her own personal experience and suffering with this problem, her holding me very accountable and her use of other techniques that I hadn’t encountered before that all combined to help me be more successful than at any other time that I can remember.
I am barely picking now (and I haven’t pulled for months) – what’s great is that my skin is able to heal because I’m now giving it the chance – so it’s meeting me ‘half way” – if spots on my skin heal, I don’t have the desire or even “need” to pick them. Before I started our sessions I frankly was starting to question whether I truly wanted to quit. The positive momentum that I experienced over the weeks has actually helped me release almost all of my reliance on what I had felt was my comfort and my friend – my skin picking.
I am very happy with the results of Annette’s coaching. With the Skype sessions, it feels like she visits my house for our sessions. She does – it just happens to be a “virtual” visit.
“I never thought this was possible”
The time came, when hurting myself became more devastating than it was comforting. I was tired of hiding the marks from picking, tired of treating infections, tired of looking at scars and feeling so weak.
01 January 2014, I looked into the new year with dread. My fiance had just proposed. My full time job (my passion) was counselling people with addictions. My actions, however, were such a contradiction. I could not stop scratching and picking at my skin. It devastated me. I felt hopeless, I felt like a failure and a fraud. No matter what I tried or how much I cried, I could not stop picking, I didn’t know how to get through the day without hurting myself.
I came across Annette’s “Stop Skin Picking” program in a desperate search for an answer (that I was sure I would not find). I didn’t think I had the courage to enroll, but I had nothing to lose. This program has taught me skills and techniques which have provided a practical and rational way to transform this harmful habit and to finding healthy ways to handle stress, anger, sadness and boredom. When I started the program, I was picking almost constantly during the day, often without even realizing it. During the months that followed, I learned to become aware of what I was doing and this became a stepping stone in changing my actions. Now I hardly pick and scratch at my skin at all.
Understanding that I have not been alone in this struggle, is healing in itself! There is a practical and manageable way to take hurtful habits and make constructive steps forward. I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WAS POSSIBLE and it is. I learned that all it takes is a desire to change and a willingness to listen, that is all!
Thank you Annette, for using your hurts to help create freedom for so many. I wish everyone you work with the complete freedom that I know is possible.
“After only a few sessions I started to notice drastic results.”
I was beginning to think skin picking was a disorder I would have to cope with for the rest of my life until I came across Annette’s program. After contacting her out of absolute desperation, I immediately knew that THIS was it – I had finally found the resource I needed in order to free myself from this vicious cycle of skin picking. After only a few sessions I started to notice drastic results. I wasn’t hiding my hands nearly as much and I could finally shower and wash my hands without cringing in pain. It was monumental. I am so thankful for Annette’s courage in sharing her story and that she was able to help me finally gain control of my habits and impulses. I would recommend Annette to anyone suffering from this disorder, trust me it will change your life.”
“the results are SOOO worth it!”
First, thank you Annette. You started me on a journey that began from a place of hopelessness and doubt. It hasn’t been an easy journey. For me, I know this will be a life time journey. But it is one I am now equipped to travel. If you are brave enough put aside your pride, trust in someone else and be willing to venture out of your comfort zone, the results are SOOO worth it!
With Annette’s help I went from spending hours a day picking at my scalp in a cloud of guilt and self-loathing to becoming aware of my stress triggers and making a conscious decision not to pick. Annette taught me substitution techniques, breathing exercises, dietary changes and log keeping. All of which has resulted in significant, almost complete, reduction of picking.
She also suggested ways of making practical changes in my environment so that it was not so easy and convenient to continue my habit. Talking to her on a weekly basis introduced a sense of accountability on my end. I was encouraged and looked forward to being able to report progress at the end of each week. I also learned not to beat myself up over small set backs. They are inevitable, but helped keep me mindful of the dark place from where I began.
Annette is professional, positive and non-judgmental. She is a success story of her own and happily shares her strategies with others. I would recommend Annette to anyone who is willing to take on a challenge and change their life for the better.”
“I proved a leopard can change her spots”
I have to state how amazed I am at the effectiveness of this program. I’d had no success with dermatologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and medication in stopping or even decreasing my skin picking behavior. I really had given up any hope that I’d ever be able to stop myself from this particular type of self-destruction. So I am still just smiling and shaking my head in amazement at how effective this program can be if diligently applied, every day.
I’ve accomplished all my goals and more I wasn’t even expecting! I don’t unconsciously pick my skin anymore. I’m only picking by choice and I almost always choose not to do so. I’m sleeping better, my focus has improved and I feel more connected with my physical self now. More importantly, I feel more compassion and love for my body. I deal better with physical and mental stress now. I feel happier and more energetic, by far. I feel less depressed and have more compassion and love for myself…a greater sense of acceptance, which is replacing the self-punishing tendencies. I don’t hide out at home, avoiding being seen like I was before this program. Now that my skin is healing and I have less red spots on my skin, I feel more ease with being around people. Also since I approve of myself more, because of my success in changing my persistent behavior, it matters more what I think about myself than what others think. I absolutely feel more free and less inhibited or trapped by the self-shame I was feeling back when I thought I could never stop injuring my skin and making it look bad. I proved a leopard can change her spots if she has diligence to take the needed steps and an ally like Annette Pasternak providing the right guidance to create a more free, happy life. I am forever grateful to have discovered her and her program.”
“I can be happy and free – this is what I deserve.”
Five months ago I was looking on the internet for information about “ Skin Picking” that seems to be still an unknown disease. I tried to do psychotherapy for years, but it was totally useless. The picking over the years became an invalidating discomfort: no friends, depression, loneliness, compulsions every day for hours. When I found Annette, I began a journey that shook all of my vital points. I learned to better understand myself and to take care of my body and health. She taught me a lot of tricks to stop the urge and I learned how to prevent the action to pick my skin. Day after day, I discovered more confidence in my abilities and now at the end of the program, I know that it is possible to get out of it, that I can be happy and free – this is what I deserve. I learned to forgive myself and not to feel ashamed. I can go out, I am not in pain. From many times a day picking dangerously to now maybe once every two weeks on a stressful day, and it’s not bad. Now it is a downhill journey! Thanks Annette for your loving support, for giving me back hope!”
“My picking went almost down to zero”
Annette’s program has totally changed my life. I started to look after myself much more, I am making much healthier lifestyle decisions, I now know in which situations I am vulnerable to picking and what to do about these situations. And without Annette I would never go through all these changes in my life because they just seem to be huge! But what I got in return is so worth it. My picking went almost down to zero and in case I still pick, I don’t feel totally ashamed and miserable about myself. I started to notice how meditation and changes in my diet have a huge effect on my picking and I am just really confident that after the program I can keep up all the good things that we implemented together. I am just so thankful to Annette for helping me to stop picking! This is just something I never imagined I was able to do.”
“I had given up hope”
Before I started working with Annette, I had given up hope that I could be free from being controlled by skin picking. I had gone to numerous therapists who either told me they had no idea what skin picking was, or that I would not be able to be free of the compulsions without medication.
When I first started talking to Annette, I was depressed and binge eating and picking almost daily. I didn’t want to be social, I was so ashamed of what I was doing to myself, and I didn’t believe I deserved happiness.
After just a month or two of her recommendations, the cloud I was under began to lift and I started to believe that a different reality was possible. Annette offered something I had not come across in other methods of searching for help. I had tried for so long to ignore or
deny my urges to pick, but Annette helped me confront my picking head on and taught me how accept and understand my urges.
Following just four months of coaching, I have more confidence in my body and in how my skin looks. It’s rare that I get lost in picking or binging and even rarer that the thought of skin picking controls what I do or who I see. It’s also important to note that Annette was the first
person I talked to who also has suffered from skin picking. Relating to someone about something I had kept secret and went to great lengths to cover up for so long was freeing and an invaluable connection.
Annette is a great advocate for the skin picking community, she’s compassionate, non judgmental, and her support has given me a great, positive outlook on my compulsions.”
“I’ve made massive amounts of progress”
“Annette, after just my complimentary intro call and two coaching sessions, I feel like I’ve made massive amounts of progress in working toward my goal. I owe so much of my progress to you, and I just want to say thank you! I really didn’t expect to have come so far in such a short amount of time, considering I have lived with this since childhood. Everyone keeps telling me I look fantastic, and they’re asking me what I’m using/doing for my skin! At this point, I only pick for a few minutes a day, if at all, and I’m comfortable with this. I haven’t had a severe or even moderate picking session since our intro call that first week. Thanks for all you do!”
“My entire life has become so much better”
“Before I started the coaching program with Annette I was picking for hours every day. I was becoming more and more depressed, self loathing and socially withdrawn. My picking was destroying me and my relationships. I never thought I could overcome my picking and after years of failed attempts I had given up hope. Then I started the coaching program with Annette and in only four months I went from picking for hours a day to almost no picking at all!
My skin has healed to the point I never thought it could. I have become much more socially active and feel so much happier. I’m truly amazed by the progress I’ve made and how my entire life has become so much better. Annette changed my life and I don’t think I can ever thank her enough. I recommend this program to anyone who wants to overcome their skin picking and change their lives for the better.”
“She will give you the tools that REALLY WORK”
“At 13 years old I began picking. Fast forward 24 years and I am in a cab in a city I love, going to a job I care about, with a supportive fiancé at home. Life in many ways was good. But there I was, again, with tears running down my red, swollen, and cut face ashamed and in pain after my most recent picking episode.
Desperately I searched the internet on my phone for answers and stumbled upon Annette. Over the years I have tried it all, but working with Annette is different. She has been where you have been, she knows where you are desperately wanting to go, and she will give you the tools that REALLY WORK to get you there!
I am so fortunate to have found Annette and cannot thank her enough for helping me find my future self – more aware, at peace, and finally free – me.”
Molly M., 37
New York, NY
“I’ve lost 20 pounds, easily”
“Thank you so much for your wonderful program for skin picking. You have given me back the gift of hope, something I haven’t had for almost 30 years. I’m now picking much less, and my picking urges, anxiety and depression are greatly reduced. As a bonus, I’ve lost 20 pounds, easily.
You’ve provided me with tools which will follow me through the rest of my life and will continue to improve my overall health and well being. I can now actually picture myself pick-free for the first time, and that is something for which I will be eternally grateful.”
Rhonda Skibsted, 55
“I have been seeing therapists off and on for years, but…”
“Before doing the coaching program with Annette, I was depressed, self-destructive and spiraling downward. Now, instead of picking hours a day, I have picked for only a few minutes in the past month.
Now I am focused on positive things, like eating better, and I have much better ways of dealing with stress. It really comforted me that Annette had this problem too. I have been seeing therapists off and on for years, but they were never able to give me the comfort and connection I felt with Annette.”
“I had finally found someone who could understand”
“Annette, I am seriously so amazed at how far I have come. No words can describe how thankful I am for everything you have done to help me these past few months. Going through your program has influenced my life in an enormous way. Thank you so much for investing your time!
I found Annette on Twitter late one night in my dorm room as I was browsing the internet for anyone who could empathize with my continuous skin picking habits. When I found her blog I immediately emailed her and could not sleep because of my excitement. I had finally found someone who could understand what I was going through and could help me get better.
Now that I am finished with the coaching program, I am amazed at the improvements I have made—both physically and mentally. Not only has my skin picking drastically decreased, but I have a greater handle on the thoughts and feelings that affect my actions. I have healthier eating habits, better approaches to stress, and greater confidence in myself.
Before this program I was in a place of real shame, but now I feel like a much happier and healthier person. Annette is an incredibly warm-hearted and compassionate person, and I would recommend this program to anyone in a heartbeat!”
“I feel confident and hopeful.”
“Annette, I can’t thank you enough for everything. You have really impacted my life, and I’m so happy to be able to share this:
When I came to Annette seeking help for my picking I was in a low place: feeling hopeless, depressed, and like my compulsion was spiraling out of all realms of control. However, what I gained from this coaching experience was much more than just relief from my compulsive behavior.
Not only did I learn useful techniques to recognize and subdue the urges, but I also gained self-acceptance and a better understanding of how to live a wholesome and healthy life. I have learned better methods of dealing with stress. I have become more aware of my thoughts, eating habits, and holistic methods of healing. I feel confident and hopeful.
My picking was significantly reduced from this coaching program while countless other methods had failed me in the past. I am so grateful for the tools, techniques, and perspective Annette has equipped me with and I will continue to use what I’ve learned from this experience to change and grow throughout my life.”
Kaleigh, age 21
“She became an invaluable ally”
“Annette is thoughtful, sympathetic, patient and knowledgeable in an area that most are not. She became an invaluable ally in a battle that I have been fighting for decades, and for the first time, I was able to speak with someone who not only knew what I was feeling, but could give me solid tips to help me fight my urges.
Her program taught me coping techniques and gave me insight into dietary changes that reduced my picking. Additionally, she helped me change some negative belief patterns that I had about myself. I now am more in touch with my emotions. Not only have I been able to decrease my picking a lot, but my picking itself is less of an issue now.”
“I am amazed that from just one session…”
“I have had Trichotillomania for 32 years. Right before I left for college 20 years ago I pulled out all of my upper eyelashes. Since then, there was not a day that went by that I did not pull from there. I had one session with Annette. She was compassionate, kind, and created a space in which I felt comfortable and relaxed. She was extremely present during our session and committed to me having what I desired from our session.
I was not sure what to expect but was open to whatever the outcome would be. Shockingly I woke up the next day and I had no desire to pull. The day after that I woke up again without even thinking about pulling. 5 weeks later, I have some eyelash growth and have not pulled my eyelashes. I am amazed that from just one session the desire to pull is almost non-existent.”
“I finally feel free.”
“I did a 6 session crash course with Annette. I was a bit worried, with my life only allowing a short time frame to make big changes, that I wouldn’t see results. However, Annette catered to my needs and did an excellent job. I am now clear skinned and proud!
My skin picking used to be out of control, but since my sessions with Annette, I have almost completely stopped! Her methods worked so well for me. I am now very aware of when I zone out and my hands go to pick, and I am able to catch it now and retrain the motion.
I am thrilled with how comfortable she made me feel in sharing my secret. I’ve never shared before with anyone, and that was a huge burden in my life. I finally feel free. It was also much easier in knowing that Annette has concurred this compulsion as well. I recommend Annette to anyone. The process of stopping compulsions is not possible to do on your own.”
“I got much closer to myself.”
“Many thanks to Annette. She did a great job and I did not just improved with the picking, I also learned a lot about myself and the influence of nutrition on my mood. All in all, I got much closer to myself and can just congratulate Annette for her very good work. Thank you so much!
“I would highly recommend you consider her programs!”
“In the Jump Start program, Annette assisted me with issues I had dealing with finger picking. Her specific strategies along with her patience and guidance will allow me to continue to gain confidence and find ways of diverting my attention away from my fingers. I would highly recommend you consider her programs!”
“Annette knows what to do and she does it very well!”
“It’s amazing that for the first time I can actually recall, someone said to me, ‘Wow your skin is so beautiful.’ I was in complete and utter shock and this was an external factor that showed proof that completing a program actually did help me.
It’s scary to think about going through a self-help kind of program, but now that I have completed one and seen progress, I wish everyone knew about things like this. 7 months ago, I never thought I would feel as though I was in control of my compulsion, rather than the other way around. It’s truly amazing to have made such progress simply because I went through a program.
There comes a point when you have to realize that you can no longer combat this problem by yourself, but that you actually do need help. This is where Annette comes in. Not only is she kind and knowledgeable, she has a first hand experience that really helps in the long run. Her understanding is everlasting and her compassion shows through her work.
I appreciate that she has a structured plan to follow so you can clearly see the progress you make. Annette also has very reasonable prices for everything and she actually knows what she is talking about! I have gone to other therapists and they just don’t understand what it is to go through a skin picking compulsion, so they prescribe medicines or odd ways of trying to heal oneself. Annette knows what to do and she does it very well!
I would recommend this program to everyone because it truly has helped me come a long way and I cannot wait to see how much more progress I will make in the future!”
Carly Presher, 20
Las Vegas, NV
“I can be more confident”
“Meeting with Annette was a great way for me to become more intentional about kicking the picking. Although I had run the gamut of physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and even hypnotherapists, I was surprised that she still exposed me to other techniques I hadn’t considered or been open to before.
Even if I don’t do all of the techniques I learned every single day, I feel like I have more options now. My fingers look better now, so I can be more confident while attending interviews. I’m more aware of my triggers, habits, and vulnerabilities.”
Patricia, age 23
“I highly recommend Annette”
“My case of dermatillomania for the most part involved picking, digging and biting at my thumbs, index and middle fingers, sometimes until they bled. I’d also sometimes nibble idly at my lips or any sore/scabby spots from old wounds I had. It was an OCD type of compulsion. And it was causing a host of problems. I highly recommend Annette and her methods if you’re battling an issue of this nature.
My picking has significantly decreased, due mostly to my awareness of it while it was actually happening. I would say that this awareness, as well as the breathing technique Annette taught me, have been the main keys to my success. My fingers have just about healed completely. Now without the crutch of Band-Aids on hand (pun intended), I can peacefully wait to complete healing.”
“With her supportive guidance I learned how to…”
“Annette helped me deal with a repetitive habit I have had for several years of biting my lips. She worked with me on understanding it was a subconscious reflex to stress that I had come to rely on. She taught me useful tools to help me become more focused on the stress triggers and how to deal with them in other ways than the temporary relief of lip biting.
Her compassion, her ability to listen, inspire and encourage and not judge was a big help. Reporting back on a regular basis on success or failure was extremely important. I acknowledged that this behavior would not disappear immediately but with her supportive guidance I learned how to slowly gain control of the behavior and make a conscious choice to control it.
Annette is a gifted counselor with insight into human nature. Her knowledge allows her to very capably adapt her instruction to the individual student. In my sessions with her, she was able to help me identify “routine” stress and then work on how to reduce or eliminate much of it. What she helped me accomplish was a plan for bringing my life into a better balance both mentally and physically.”
C.G., retired professor
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