Self-Harm

Self-harm, also known as self-injury, means hurting yourself on purpose. While cutting (using a sharp object to pierce your skin) is the most common form of self-harm many other forms exist, including burning, scratching or hitting body parts. Self-harm often first manifests itself in adolescence or young adulthood and is typically used as a way to cope with emotional pain. Individuals who have experienced trauma, neglect or abuse are particularly susceptible to self-harming behaviors. Self-harm can be a passing phase, but it is sometimes a symptom of a more serious psychiatric problem, like anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, so it is important to take it seriously. Whether you, or a child in your care, has recently started hurting yourself or you’ve been doing it for a while, there is help available! Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s self-harm experts today.

Meet the specialists

I work with teenagers and adults who use all sorts of behaviors to try to feel better, even when they know those behaviors are hurtful to themselves or others, or aren't in line with their values. I have worked with self-harm, thoughts of suicide, and emotional dysregulation in inpatient and outpatient settings. I rely on behavioral and emotional strategies to help you understand why you're using these behaviors and what to do instead.

— Tricia Mihal, Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX
 

The shame you hold and carry with you can be overwhelming. I encourage you to find a trusted person you can talk to about this secret and welcome your visit if you want me to be that person to confide in.

— Christine Lillja, Psychologist in Laguna Hills, CA
 

While some providers may run away from this problem, I run towards treating it! One of the best things I get to experience as a professional is when I get to teach someone how to reduce self-harming behaviors and get their needs met in a healthier way. I have years of experience treating this behavior with successful resolution of self-harming behaviors. There is a reason for self-harming and when we can discover why, we can discover what to do instead.

— Michelle Fortier, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Tallahassee, FL

I understand that there is a difference between self-harm and suicidal behavior.

— Debbie Duquette, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Huntsville, AL
 

I have worked with self injury for over 15 years and also provide trainings and workshops on the topic for clinicians, parents and schools. I use a harm reduction approach, and help people to explore the meaning and purpose of their self injury as they learn instead to find words for their pain.

— Kirsti Reeve, Counselor in Rochester Hills, MI