Self-injury is the deliberate act of harming oneself in an effort to change an emotional state. It is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Having worked with individuals who self-injure and their families for more than fifteen years, I have developed a sound clinical approach to self-injury. This includes structured individual therapy, family therapy (when indicated) and parent education. When a child or adolescent self-injures it is important to work with family members to educate them on how to respond to their child and how to provide the best support possible.
While self-injury may temporarily alleviate unwanted thoughts and feelings, it negatively impacts relationships, intimacy and educational/professional success. It is through the consistent relationship in therapy that individuals learn to rebuild a connection within themselves and their loved ones. Treatment includes learning how to regulate your emotions, build healthy attachments and develop alternatives to self-injury.