Three weeks ago, my therapist suggested that I start a skin picking log in order to track when I pick and how often. This skin picking log can be important to understand how and why you're picking. And why you stop.
Part of the log is writing down the date, time and place where the incident occurred. Also, how long it lasted and the intensity of the urge. Finally, you should write down what you were doing and what you were feeling at the time of the picking session. Plus write down why you stopped picking.
Apparently, just keeping the log manages to decrease picking in many people by at least 50%.
In my case, I found this to be true as well. Rather than stopping what I was doing to write down a new episode, I would simply refuse to pick at all.
All of the information is important and serves to really remind you why you pick. During my therapy session last week, after trying to keep the log for two weeks, me an my therapist went over my log.
Overall, I started out great. The first day, I only picked a few times. My first time was about 6 hours after my therapy sessions, which I guess proves that therapy can be a good way to avoid picking for a certain number of hours.
I kept up the log for another week or so, but gradually I fell off track. I started doing the short form diary--merely tracking episodes as tallies, not full write-ups--after the second week.
I got most of the benefits from the data from the first few days however.
I learned that most of the time I pick when I'm not really thinking about anything, or stressing about work or family. It wasn't often that I gave myself permission to pick.
Anyway, that's it for now. I'm now trying the skin picking log again for the next two weeks.
So far, so good. I've kept picking to a minimum--about 2-3 times a day. Although I have had some more picking episodes in the last day or so. But it has definitely gone down.
Can't wait to see what happens next. My picking is decreasing and I am using alternate methods, like Bucky Balls to keep my hands occupied.