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The individuals who are presenting this year have all graciously volunteered their time and expertise with us simply because we asked them. This group of exceptional people truly understand that there is a great need to provide support and education within our BRFB community as there are few resources available today. With their combined knowledge, skills and deep compassion for others, they bring great solace and healing to those struggling with BRFBs and their loved ones. 

We are delighted and deeply grateful to be welcoming these precious beings into our hearts this year for the

2018 Heart & Soul Annual Retreat!

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Christina Pearson

Visionary Director, CEO, and Founder, Heart and Soul Academy for BFRB Living Skills  Grand Junction, Colorado

Founder, TLC Foundation for BFRBs

Christina Pearson grew up suffering terribly from both hair pulling and skin picking. At the age of 33 in 1990, she founded the Trichotillomania Learning Center, now known as the TLC Foundation for BRFBs. Through her leadership and heart-based guidance, leading researchers and clinicians came together in order to create a collaborative Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), and TLC's membership extended around the world.  Among many projects she spearheaded, Christina was also responsible for setting up the world’s first Research Fund for BFRBs, and the organization she founded went on to fund numerous research projects inspiring many young investigators to become involved in the field.  Leaving TLC in early 2013, she turned her attention toward the establishment of the Heart and Soul Academy for BFRB Living Skills in order to provide ongoing education in useful skills, opportunities for practice, and support to the community, outside of a traditional therapeutic format. From her perspective, BFRB management skills for most people can be easily taught in an educational format. 

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Charles Mansueto, Ph.D.

Director, Behavioral Therapy Center of Greater Washington,   Silver Spring, Maryland

Charles is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment and study of TTM. He is a founding member of TLC’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), and serves as the current Chair of the SAB’s Professional Education Committee. He recently retired from the faculties of Bowie State University (MD) and the American School of Professional Psychology (VA), Dr. Mansueto is Director of the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington, DC, where he has long been involved in developing a new cognitive behavioral treatment approach the Comprehensive Behavioral Models (CompB) that he has helped hundreds of TTM sufferers with over more than twenty-five years. This particular approach, the ComB treatment for hair pulling and skin picking, is the core treatment element of TLC’s Professional Treatment Institute. Dr. Mansueto chaired the first national symposium on TTM in 1990 (which is where Christina Pearson asked him to get involved in her vision of building The Trichotillomania Learning Center) and continues to conduct research, publish and speak at conferences, retreats, and other venues about the BFRB group of disorders.

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Fred Bartlett

Chaplain, Retired  Kansas City, Missouri

Is a man of deep faith who grew up suffering with trichotillomania (TTM). As a young man he became a chaplain, serving patients of all faiths in times of need at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO. From his personal experience dealing with compulsive hair pulling, he also developed a strong commitment to reducing the suffering caused by BFRBs. He has lectured and facilitated workshops at conferences, retreats, and one-day workshops. A long-time personal friend and supporter of Christina Pearson’s work in creating TLC, Fred personally laid much of the groundwork for TLC’s Research programs.  Fred helped to establish the Heart & Soul Academy and was a founding Board Member, working closely with Christina to expand the Academy as a useful resource for the BFRB community.   By providing insight, guidance and initial major funding for the TTM Genetics Bio-sample Project (that evolved into TLC’s major fundraising campaign, BFRB Personalized Medicine (BPM). Fred has worked to ensure that future generations might not suffer as much as those before them. In collaboration with Christina, Fred was also the inspiration and sole major funder for the groundbreaking TTM Family Study that was recently completed at Harvard Medical School.

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Merrill Black, LCSW

Reiki Master, Hypnotherapist, Owner & Founder of The Temperance Center,  Eastchester, New York

Merrill is a cognitive behavior therapist who has been treating patients since 1987. In her private practice at the Temperance Center, she works with a diverse population. Among her specialties are anxiety disorders, including trichotillomania / skin picking and other BFRBs. She has been treating BFRB’s since 1997.  In her practice she works with children, adolescents, and adults. In addition to her traditional therapy she is also a trained Reiki Master and has incorporated  this  energy  work  into her repertoire since 2007.  She is also trained in hypnosis and uses the process of hypnosis to help her patients manage anxiety, stress, and their BFRBs. In addition, her guided channeling meditation groups are used as another tool to help shift, guide, and heal others in their personal journey.

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Shannon Dean

Certified Micro-Blade Artist,   San Diego, California

Shannon has struggled with hair-pulling and skin-picking during most of her life. At some of her lowest points, had almost no hair at all, wore wigs to hide the damage, and struggled with severe depression. At some of her highest points, she found recovery from BFRBs, focused on healing, and participated in Christina's mindfulness courses which have significantly improved her quality of life and ability to cope with these behaviors. Attending retreats from a young age inspired her to find work helping people like herself struggling with BFRBs. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Business Management,  obtained a position working with philanthropists in Orange County, California at the Orange County Community Foundation, and  created a business of her own as an eyebrow microblading artist.  She has found as her involvement with the Heart and Soul Academy increases, so does her grasp on recovery. She is honored to be able to share what she has learned along the way, and to continue to heal with this wonderful community.

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Inge de Weille, M.D.

Hospital Psychiatrist, Fredensborg, Denmark

Double-board certified as a Child & Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist, Inge was trained at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. After receiving “Advanced Clinical Training for BFRB’s” from the Professional Training Institute, she successfully worked with children with trichotillomania in Northern New York, combining the Com-B approach with N-acetylcysteine supplementation. At the U of R's Medical Center’s Psychiatric Grand Rounds, she provided a teaching session for clinicians on “How do you treat BFRBs (Body-focused Repetitive Behavior) Disorders?” She also provided an in-service presentation on “Pulling, Picking, and Chewing: Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s) in a Child Psychiatry Outpatient Setting to the clinical staff of their Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Outpatient Services. Her article “Treatment of hair pulling disorder in a primary care setting” was published in the newsletter for CAPPC: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for Primary Care: Child psychiatry access program. Her passion is to make sure people have access to useful treatment. 


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Christy Garner, D.C.

Founder of the Beyond Pulling Program, Felton, CA

Dr. Christy Garner earned her natural science degree from the College of St. Benedict. Following her passion for holistic medicine, she received her doctor of chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University. Her post-doctorate focus has been in the field of epigenetics – expanding her knowledge base in the areas where individuals have influence over the expression of their genes, namely detoxification, nutrition, and stress adaptation. She is passionate about finding the simplest tools that make the biggest difference for people in achieving health and happiness.  Over the last decade, she has worked with over 2,400 individuals with highly sensitive nervous systems, including individuals challenged with autism, ADHD, anxiety, BFRBs, OCD, and addiction. She offers a unique blend of head and heart as she combines her clinical knowledge and training with her personal experience and real-life navigation of living with Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania since age 9.

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Ruth Golomb, LCPC

Senior Clinician, Behavioral Therapy Center of Greater Washington,  Silver Spring, Maryland

Ruth is a senior clinician, supervisor, and co-director of the doctoral training program at the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington. Ms. Golomb specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in children, adolescents and adults. She has conducted numerous workshops and seminars at past conferences and retreats, is a member of TLC’s Scientific Advisory Board; and participates as an expert in panel discussions covering many topics including Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder), Dermatillomania (Skin Picking Disorder) and managing anxiety disorders in the classroom. In addition to publishing articles for professional journals and newsletters, Ms. Golomb is co-author of The Hair Pulling “Habit” and You: How to Solve the Trichotillomania Puzzle, a book describing comprehensive treatment of trichotillomania in children, and A Parent Guide to Hair Pulling Disorder: Effective Parenting Strategies for Children with Trichotillomania a book designed to help parents of children with trichotillomania..

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Joan Kaylor, Ph.D., M.S.Ed., L.P.C., DCEP

CEO Joan Kaylor M.S.Ed., L.P.C. Counseling and Consulting International, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Joan is an international teacher, therapist, and consultant. She has been helping individuals and families since 1994. Joan’s passion is helping others out of the addiction and emotional trauma of body-focused repetitive behaviors. Joan knows the depression and isolation of trichotillomania having pulled for 25 years from age 11 to 36. In her words, “There is nothing more fulfilling than helping people change their lives.”Joan is owner and CEO of Joan Kaylor, MSEd, LPC Counseling and Consulting International. She is sought as a keynote speaker and teacher. She has 14,000+ students enrolled in courses on Udemy.com. She created the first app for hair pulling and skin picking called “I Stopped Pulling. You Can Too.”Joan was a founding member of the Trichotillomania Learning Center Foundation that Christina Pearson established in 1990. Joan and Christina both served on the board of the International OCD Foundation in the early 1990’s. She is also a member of the TLC Foundation for BFRBs, a supporter of the Heart and Soul Academy, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, ACEP, Anxiety and Depression Association of America and the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation. Joan is certified in energy psychology, Emotional Freedom Techniques, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

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Maddie Lapp

Student, St. Louis. Missouri

Maddie is 20 years old, and she is a junior at Fontbonne University where she is studying Special and Elementary Education.  Maddie's trichotillomania began at age 11 and dermatillomania at the age of 15. She "get's it" from the inside out, has developed awareness and management skills, and loves working with kids, teens, and adults to help them move forward on their own recovery path.   Maddie's passion to share her story and raise awareness is done with confidence, enthusiasm. and deep authenticity. Her positive attitude never goes unnoticed and she loves being a wonderful mentor to many younger members within the BFRB community. In her free time, Maddie enjoys swimming, music, crafts, and hanging out with friends.

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Laurent McKeaney,

Founder & CEO, Picking Me Foundation, NFP

After 27 years with Skin Picking Disorder, Lauren McKeaney journeyed from silent sufferer to adamant advocate, founding her Chicago based nonprofit the Picking Me Foundation NFP, for sufferers, supporters, and educational communities alike, encouraging individuals in #PickingMe over Skin Picking. Lauren's drive to spread awareness and inspire acceptance of the under-served skin picking disorder community has landed her speaking and exhibiting engagements at skin care, OCD, dermatology, college counselor, social worker, and mental health professional expositions nationwide. Her Fiddle Pack Project, Drawing with Derma art therapy, and #WhatsWithUrSkin campaign aim to challenge perceptions of 'bad skin' while fostering an advocacy attitude for the ultimate freedom. Picking Me functions from Mental (W)illness, practice makes progress not perfect, and a 'louder together' mentality that strives to improve quality of life. Visit www.pickingme.org to see what she's been up to lately! 


Suzanne Mouton-Odum, Ph.D.

Private Practice, Houston, Texas

Suzanne Mouton-Odum, PhD is a psychologist in private practice in Houston, Texas. She obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Houston in Counseling Psychology and completed her residency in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. She has treated people with trich and other body-focused repetitive behaviors since 1993, and has been a member of The TLC Foundation for BFRBs Scientific Advisory Board since 2001. Dr. Mouton-Odum regularly attends and presents at the TLC Annual Conference and Retreat. Dr. Mouton-Odum has published several books on trichotillomania, including A Parent Guide to Hair Pulling Disorder- Effective Strategies for Parents of Children with Trichotillomania. She presents at national conferences on body-focused repetitive behaviors and their treatment. She is the co-owner and lead developer of the only interactive, online website for trichotillomania, www.stoppulling.com, and for skin picking disorder, www.stoppicking.com. She is happily married and lives in Houston with her husband and two children.

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Kari Nelson

Fitness and Yoga Instructor,    Denver, Colorado

Kari grew up with Trichotillomania, and she and her parents have been long-time TLC members. At 18, she wrote an article for the TLC newsletter entitled “My Daily Fight.” Kari lives in Denver CO with her husband and son and is beginning to practice mindfulness in every-day life. She is a strong believer in good nutrition, appropriate exercise, good self-care, and creating balance in life. Kari has been a yoga and fitness instructor for the past 12 year




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Richard O'Sullivan, M.D.

Private Practice,   Madison, Connecticut

Dr. O'Sullivan is a Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass Gen)  trained psychiatrist with over 25 years of experience practicing clinical psychiatry and conducting psychiatric research. Meeting Christina Pearson in 1991 due to his interest in trichotillomania, he attended the first ever BFRB Retreat in 1992 at Christina's invitation. He was deeply touched by the individuals he encountered, and upon returning to Mass Gen opened Harvard's first ever Trichotillomania Clinic. He was a founding member of the TLC Scientific Advisory Board, and published the first peer reviewed brain imaging scientific paper about trichotillomania , with his fMRI study on a small group of women.  This groundbreaking study found that there were statistically significant size differences in a region of the basal ganglia called the left putamen. His ongoing collaboration with the scientific community has helped to bring much more public awareness to BFRBs Richard maintains a private practice in Madison, CT where he offers medication management, psychotherapy and psychiatric home visits services. He sees patients of all ages including the elderly.

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Annette Pasternak, Ph.D. 

Holistic Health Coach,  Chattanooga, Tennessee

Anne is a certified holistic health coach who lives in Los Angeles. She is coaching clients from across the U.S. and worldwide to stop skin picking. Formerly a research scientist, college professor and high school chemistry teacher who struggled for more than two decades with chronic skin picking, Annette is now dedicated to helping others break free from its tenacious grip. She is the author of the number one selling and highest rated book on skin picking, “Skin Picking: The Freedom to Finally Stop.” Learn more about Annette and her work at her website www.stopskinpickingcoach.com.

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Rachel Patch, RN, BSN

Nurse,  Fort Wayne, Indiana

Rachel is 22 years old, and just recently graduated from the University of Evansville with a nursing degree. She began pulling out her hair at the age of 7 and has been attending retreats and conferences since she was 8 years old, and being a facilitator since she was 117 years old. Growing up with Trichotillomania, Rachel has experienced all the fluctuations that a BFRB can induce on someone’s life. She has experienced recovery, relapse, acceptance, and struggle through her life. She believes that the love, support, and tools provided to both her and her parents, through the Trichotillomania community, has allowed her to heal and grasp acceptance with her BFRB. Rachel has also been a co-teacher in several of Christina Pearson's online teen classes at the Heart and Soul Academy, This Retreat  is one of many BFRB events Rachel has presented and facilitated over the past few years, and she feels blessed to be giving back to a community that has given so much to her.

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Renae Reinardy, Psy.D.

Director, Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change,  Fargo, North Dakota

Renae M. Reinardy, Psy.D. received her doctorate at Argosy University, Washington, D.C. She is the Director of the Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change. Dr. Reinardy specializes in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, trichotillomania, skin picking, hoarding disorder, and related conditions. She has been an adjunct professor at the doctoral level and has presented numerous times at national conferences and at local meetings and trainings. She is also the Program Developer of Courage Critters, on online and plush animal system.  Dr. Reinardy has been interviewed on Good Morning AmericaNorth Dakota Today, and the Joy Behar Show. She has also had her treatment techniques featured on Dateline NBC and A&E’s Hoarders.

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Sherrie Vavrichek, LCSW-C

Senior Clinician, Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington Silver Spring, MD

Is a board certified clinical social worker who has served in medical, psychiatric, and special education settings in the Washington D.C. area for over 25 years. Her expertise includes working with children, adolescents, and adults with TTM, OCD, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities. Ms. Vavrichek has spent years incorporating mindfulness and meditation practices with her Cognitive Behavioral therapeutic approach to treatment. She has been on the staff of the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington since 1990, and is co-author of The Hair Pulling Habit and You: How to Solve the Trichotillomania Puzzle, a treatment guide for children and adolescents, parents and therapists. She has presented workshops at many TLC conferences, and has presented workshops at the past 15 BFRB Retreats. She is also the author of a wonderful self-help book titledCompassionate Assertiveness: How to Express Your Needs and Deal With Conflict While Keeping a Kind Heart, and Life Cycle, How We Grow and Change: A Human Development& Sexuality Education Curriculum," a sexuality education curriculum for young people with disabilities. 

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Noah Weintraub, Psy.D.

Psychologist, Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington, Silver Spring, Maryland

Noah earned his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University and completed further training at Terry Children’s Psychiatric Center in Delaware. While Dr. Weintraub works with all ages, he specializes in children and adolescents with a wide range of difficulties, including OCD and other anxiety disorders, ADHD, body-focused repetitive behaviors, and other behavioral disorders.

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