Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT)

Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) is a treatment option for tic disorders, including Tourette syndrome. It is endorsed by The Tourette Association of America.

A tic is a sudden, quick, repeating, rhythmic movement or vocalization. Tics are often semi-involuntary. But they can sometimes be suppressed. CBIT combines psychoeducation about tic disorders with behavioral therapy to help manage tics.

A principle of behavior therapy and CBIT is Habit Reversal Training (HRT). The goal of Habit Reversal Training is to raise awareness of tics and the urge to tic while using competing responses (CRs).

A competing response is something a person can do when the urge to tic starts, or soon after the tic starts. The goal is for competing responses to either be incompatible with the tic or be less socially noticeable than the tic. Patients work with trained CBIT providers to find the right competing responses.

CBIT also uses relaxation training and function-based treatments. Tics can get worse in times of stress. Function-based treatments try to find what make tics worse, and change those factors to help reduce the tics. Coping skills like progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing reduce stress. They are also a part of CBIT.

Research shows that CBIT can be successful for patients who are motivated, aware of their tics and urges, and able to fully participate in therapy. Your trained CBIT clinician can also provide you with additional resources to help manage your tics and urges.

The goal of CBIT is to teach patients how to manage their tics. Treatment may not cure the tic disorder. But many patients experience less tics after CBIT.