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.

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Meet the specialists

 

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 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 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 ,

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
 

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

Many of us struggle with negative coping skills to help us through life's most difficult tasks and events. Individuals struggling with self harm often struggle with finding other ways to cope. Often we don't realize how harmful certain behaviors can be. I work with clients on DBT skills to work on deescalating emotions with positive coping skills like deep breathing, mindefullness, and exploring new skills that will help avoid negative behaviors and create new positive ones.

— Stephanie Brands, Clinical Social Worker in Plainfield, IL
 

Intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy through Behavioral Tech

— Kate Horsch, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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

One of the most meaningful experiences that I have had as a therapist is meeting a number of clients who have felt in such a dark place as to turn to self-harm or to to experience such a level of self-hate as to want to hurt themselves----and being a part of those client's healing. If interested in improving your relationship with yourself or being able to understand why you self-harm to feel better and no longer need it, we can begin therapy using strategies of DBT and self-compassion.

— JENNIFER GERLACH, Therapist in Swansea, IL
 

I have worked with youth (children and teens) who have thoughts and behaviors of self-harm as well as thoughts and behaviors of suicide. I utilize Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy as well as interventions from Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

— Katrina (Kat) de los Santos, Mental Health Counselor in San Antonio, TX

Self-harm is not a mental illness, but a behavior that indicates a need for better coping skills. Several illnesses are associated with it, including borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, anxiety or posttraumatic distress disorder. Self-harm isn’t the same as attempting suicide. However, it is a symptom of emotional pain that should be taken seriously.

— Allyse Russell, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Roswell, GA
 

Moving From Self-Harm to Self-Care: Learn coping strategies to conquer harmful habits. *Are you struggling with self-harm, such as suicidal thoughts, self-injury, substance abuse, toxic relationships, or other harmful behaviors? *Have you tried to make a change on your own, but had trouble following through? Get support in crafting your own self-care plan to live a healthier and more satisfying life.

— Anna Lindberg Cedar, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Francisco, CA

With experience in mobile crisis, providing therapeutic behavior services and as a therapist, I conceptualize self-harm as a part of oneself trying to manage significantly distressing symptoms and states. I am experienced in safety planning using an individualized, harm-reduction approach which allows for one to explore the part of themself that uses self-harm.

— Jennifer Canu, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Ben Lomond, CA
 

I have completed training and have been effectively working with individuals who struggle with self-injury for several years.

— Jennifer Turner, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Baltimore, MD

One of the most meaningful pieces of the work I do is helping people improve their relationships with themselves. I have experience implementing DBT-informed therapy and compassion-focused therapies to help clients manage self-harm and related challenges. Through this, we can help you understand what leads to self-harm and get you to a place of not feeling a need to have to resort to harming yourself to feel okay.

— JENNIFER GERLACH, Therapist in Swansea, IL
 

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

I have worked with individuals struggling with self-harm since 2010. Specialized training in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), which is the treatment of choice for Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as those who struggle with intense emotions and self-harm.

— Ashley Strang, Psychologist in Grand Rapids, MI
 

Self-harm/self-injurious behaviors (SIB) are common among children and youth who have been exposed to Trauma (typically moderate/superficial types of direct SIB: cutting, burning, hair pulling, and scarification). SIB can be seen as a maladaptive form of self regulation and may represent a child or youth’s attempt to to modulate overwhelming emotional experiences and symptoms of PTSD. In my work, I've seen how Creative, Somatic, and Equine Therapies can effectively guide youth away from SIB.

— Rory Valentine Diller, M.A., Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Orinda, CA