A product Pavlock, which is essentially a shock bracelet for Aversion Therapy, markets itself as an intervention for a range of habits, including procrastination and nail-biting. Wikipedia cites the paper "A Pocket-Portable Shock Device With Application To Nailbiting" from 1968. Are there more modern comparison of Aversion Therapy to other interventions? Particularly to nail-biting, since there are many applications of Aversion Therapy across addictions.

  • $\begingroup$ I would not use Aversion Therapy, I would recommend therapy based on Habit-reversal of Azrin and Nunn similar to alternative response reinforcement and Incompatible-response technique. $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2017 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ @hexadecimal that sounds like the start of a great answer! $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Jun 5, 2017 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ Would you be interested in alternatives (more to the aversive) for nail-biting (to properly treat the procrastination will it take a lot)? $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2017 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ @hexadecimal I'm only interested in nail-biting on this question. (: $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Jun 5, 2017 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


One of the techniques used for nail-biting is the (training) habit-reversal: Developed by Nathan H. Azrin and R. Gregory Nunn (1987) focused on the treatment of nervous habits (although in general, other authors in the clinical field developed it under different variation). It is not usually as well known as it should be, since during that time many techniques conditions were experienced: reciprocal inhibition and counterconditioning (Joseph Wolpe), exposure, alternative response, incompatible response.


  • Given a habit that we could qualify as negative linked to nerves or anxiety, select a response that ideally is incompatible with the negative habit (in any case compete strongly). The incompatible response fulfills the objectives, goals, motivation or causes that satisfied the negative habit, precisely about nervous habits is not convenient an increase of the anxiety, the person has developed the negative habit for reasonable reasons, whatever they are, and that habit is somehow adaptive and positive, surely to reduce anxiety). As in the case of self-instruction, it is not the point of whether the psychologist or therapist, or the client, select one or the other response, but must be meaningful and optimal for both of them.

Therefore it would be advisable to master previously:

  • Background, causes and triggers of behavior (motive or motivation of activity).
  • Knowledge about anxiety (different anxiety profiles) and exposure.
  • Reciprocal inhibition and counterconditioning.
  • Therapy based on the alternative response.
  • Therapy based on incompatible response.

A very flexible and wide-ranging approach so that it can be integrated as a training and in conjunction with other techniques.


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