Currently, we are working on the problem of how to motivate smokers to attempt to quit, making use of John Riskind's "looming vulnerability" model. Our first pilot study in this area showed that using guided imagery designed to convey a sense of negative health consequences of smoking are coming closer in space and time (i.e., "looming") significantly lowered smoking rate in the following month. There was also an encouraging trend toward increase quit attempts and use of smoking cessation treatment.
Now, our current research project aims to examine whether looming perceptions of
smoking-related health risks mediate the relationship between a series
of guided looming imagery tasks and the likelihood of a smoking
cessation attempt at one-month follow up.
Over the years a number of patients have been treated for trichotillomania (TTM) (compulsive hair-pulling) in our training clinic and reported having had considerable trouble finding treatment providers with expertise in TTM. We developed a stepped-care model to try to improve access to TTM and conducted a study of this approach with support from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Martha and Jamie at ABCT 2013 Nashville.
Another project on treating trichotillomania, supported by the Trichotillomania Learning Center, Inc. (TLC), was a treatment development study of the Comprehensive Behavioral (COMB) model of treatment developed by Charles Mansueto, PhD and his colleagues. We are conducting this research in collaboration with the Behavior Therapy Center (BTC) of Greater Washington, of which Dr. Mansueto is the Director.