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.

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Self harm is a result of intense pain and often times is a way to avoid and lessen that pain. You may feel shame or keep this pattern secret from people in your life. Therapy with me is a way to experience compassion and learn how and why this is happening. I will help you develop skills that can help you choose other ways of coping with your pain. Self harm is nothing to be ashamed of. You are hurting and I want to help you heal.

— Jennie Wang-Hall, Psychologist in San Marcos, CA

If you are self-harming or you have a loved one who is self-harming it can be hard for both of you to understand. I have found that most who self-harm want a better way to cope with their emotions, but it sometimes feels impossible to stop self-harming. Whether that is because it has become a habit, it feels good, or you feel that you have no other way of dealing with life. I work with individuals from 12 years-old to adults on learning coping skills to replace self-harming using DBT.

— Amber Kosloske, Counselor in Colorado Springs, CO

I have experience working with clients with a wide range of self harm experiences. I will not judge your experience and offer a safe and healing space to process self harm behaviors.

— Mallory Striesfeld, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX

I have been working with clients who struggle with self harm and suicidal ideation since 2002. Using DBT skills, mindfulness, and other modality approaches, one can find other ways to cope with difficult emotions.

— Johanna Limmer, Licensed Professional Counselor in ,

I understand that there is a difference between self-harm and suicidal behavior and have experience helping people learn adaptive coping strategies.

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

I have 8 years of experience working with individuals that have significant urges to harm themselves or are experiencing suicidal ideation. I think that recognition, honesty, openness, and having a supportive ally, are really important steps in beginning the path of challenging self harm urges and actions.

— Sam Anderson, Clinical Social Worker in Golden Valley, MN

You will have access to 24/7 hour phone coaching with me when you have urges for self harm. I will teach you ways to regulate such urges and find better coping strategies to fulfill your needs.

— Ann Guzman, Counselor in Peachtree Corners, GA

Intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy through Behavioral Tech

— Kate Horsch, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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, Licensed Professional Counselor in Ferndale, MI

Self-injury, like many addictive behaviors, can take complete control of the person if left untreated. It can impact self-esteem, relationships, day to day functioning, and lead to more serious or life threatening behaviors as people habituate and need more of the drug. There are various functions that self-injury can serve for people based on level of overwhelm, and uncovering the "why" someone is engaged in these behaviors is one of the crucial steps needed to live fully and harm-free.

— Kim Johancen, Therapist in Centennial, CO

I treat self harm using a harm reduction approach. This makes it possible to work on keeping you as safe as possible while you start making progress in treatment. Progress can take a little while, and I understand that if you could just stop (like someone probably has suggested), you probably wouldn't be seeing me.

— Cally Sullivan, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in ,

I have worked in various settings with clients struggling with severe mental health concerns and have been able to manage crisis and decrease their self-harm.

— Jenelle Coolidge, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Dr Philips, FL

Self-Harm is a symptom of a deep pain from within us that we're just trying to escape in some way or another. I personally believe that self harm can be its own kind of addiction. Much like with substance abuse, in order to address it, I like to create immediate de-escalation and harm reduction techniques, and then move inward to address the underlying cause.

— Victoria Pentecost, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Conroe, TX

Self-harm occurs for many different reasons and understanding the differences to those reasons is crucial to helping someone stop the behavior. Self-harm does not always equate to suicidality and some providers inappropriately refer individuals who self-harm to inpatient programs, causing the potential for additional trauma and stress. Self-harm, in many cases, is an attempt at coping when a person doesn't yet know alternative healthy ways to cope instead.

— Melissa Russell-Plunkett, Counselor in Shelbyville, IN

Someone might self-harm for a variety of reasons, but ultimately, self-harm is a person's way of expressing that something is wrong and they need help. So long as self-harm is not putting a person's life in danger, I approach the issue with compassion and non-judgment while we explore alternate methods to handle the feelings that drive the behavior.

— Catherine Humenuk, Clinical Social Worker in The Colony,

Self-harm involves a toxic combination of self-hatred and intense emotions that seem impossible to overcome. I want to help my clients piece these two components apart and work through each one. Overcoming self-harm involves working through emotional distress without unintentionally pointing to yourself as "the problem" which only leads to more emotional distress. It also involves developing the confidence that you can handle whatever life throws at you.

— Zach Leezer, Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

Self-harm can include different methods ranging from overexercising, scratching, cutting and more. There are various reasons someone may start and continue with self-harming. Using a non-judgmental approach, we explore when and why you started self-harming and your current triggers. A harm reduction approach is incorporated, meaning we identify less dangerous means of self-harm as you simultaneously learn alternative coping skills and improve your ability to manage emotional distress.

— Lindsey Painter, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Cottonwood Heights, UT

I have extensive experience working with adolescent and adult clients who have both current and past self-harm behaviors. I work with evidence based interventions and harm reduction practices to help clients identify the unique function of their self harm behaviors and develop motivation to move towards healthier and more sustainable coping strategies.

— Jacqueline Benson, Clinical Psychologist in Oakland, CA