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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Tics(CBIT)

Behavioural interventions provide tools for helping a person learn ways to change certain behaviours. Cognitive therapies can help a person to change the way they think about tics in addition to taking certain action. Often the two forms of intervention are combined to help a person make changes to what they do and think to improve their lives. It can be useful for most people with tic disorders, although evidence suggests that it is effective for children as young as five years of age and adults.  Treatment is hard work, so it is key that the individual with tics is highly motivated to work on their tics.

CBIT is usually offered in 8-12 weekly or fortnightly sessions (although fewer might be suitable for milder tics) but this can depend on the person with tics and the therapist. For example, someone who feels the urge to cough, blink, or roll their eyes can be taught techniques such as mindful breathing to help them to short-circuit the urge, and then to use a different behaviour, instead. They can also work to identify the factors in their lives that seem to trigger or exacerbate their tics and introduce techniques to help them to reduce their stress levels during those incidents. For example, a patient might notice that their tics are worse when they have to speak in public. They will benefit from using stress-reducing techniques, such as mindfulness, to lower their stress levels and thereby reduce the temptation to engage in tics.

While many people with tics can suppress their tics on their own for a period of time, this can be a very frustrating experience for them, that adds to their feelings of stress and can actually make things worse in the longer term. Instead, at Working Minds our goal of CBIT is to integrate new behaviours such that, over time, they become second nature, and therefore remove the need to engage in voluntary suppression. As the person’s ability to understand and manage their tics grows, they become more confident and self-empowered, and less inclined to react to situations that used to trigger them. Over time, the “new” behaviours that they learn to replace tics often also fade away as their ability to manage their condition develops.


  • Murphy, T., (2017, August), ‘Behavioural therapies and Tourette Syndrome’, Tourettes Action

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Over 25 Years’ Experience High Success Rate Helping Individuals & Organisations
Over 25 Years’ Experience

High Success Rate Helping Individuals & Organisations

Why Choose Us For Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Tics(CBIT)

We are unique in the way that we provide personal, individual attention and care to each of our clients. We are flexible and can often arrange for you to have your therapy face to face, via telephone, or video links such as zoom. We try to work around your schedule as best as we can and for what suits you best to ensure your maximum progression and attention in sessions. Our services will go the extra mile to bond and build rapport to get the most effective and positive outcome.

Therapy is not only a job, but also, a passion that we provide 100% to each individual client. Our team is well equipped with assessments, materials, and knowledge to ensure that each session is useful. We provide advice and set targets so you can develop and improve even outside your time with the therapist.

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West Midlands Fire Service

At West Midlands Fire Service we have established a long and productive relationship with Working Minds UK. Alan Dovey has a clear understanding of the needs of our service and has provided support for operational and non-operational staff alike. The input he delivers has proved to be extremely cost-effective and has shown an excellent return on investment in terms of a reduction in sickness absence days. We regard Alan as an essential and valued member of our multidisciplinary Occupational Heal ...

Paul Hinckley, Senior Business Partner
South Yorkshire Police

CBT has been integrated in to all aspects of the occupational health practitioner’s work in South Yorkshire Police. Having now had three practitioners trained by Alan and Sharon on their national course, we are able to provide effective, practical therapeutic and educational support to our clients. Extending the remit of the occupational health advisor with cognitive behavioural training has been the most rewarding, efficient and effective investment not only for the professionalism of the ...

Sharon Whitehouse, Occupational Health Manager
Healthcare RM

Sharon and Alan’s training in cognitive behavioural practice and their ongoing supervision has helped us develop and maintain our skills in the complex area of workplace mental health.

Anita Ross and Hayley Arnold, Case Managers
Healthcare RM

As a specialist occupational/corporate healthcare provider Alan Dovey and Sharon Wilday’s cognitive behavioural training to our case managers has proved invaluable in ensuring we provide a first class service to our clients

Tim Heard, Psych Health Risk Consultant
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