Self-harm is also used by some, although thought to be a minority, to punish themselves. Others report that this behavior protects them from suicidal impulses. A smaller group uses self-harm for the thrill of it; that is, a way to distract oneself from negative thoughts or boredom. Lastly, there is a still smaller group of self- mutilators who are suicidal.
As a psychotherapist, my role is to help the patient identify the source(s) of the injurious behavior, offer healthy alternative coping mechanisms, and then integrate these coping mechanisms into the patient’s life outside of therapy. I often work with the family when the self-mutilator is an adolescent.
If you, a partner, or a family member participates in self-harming behavior and think psychotherapy may help you find a healthier alternative, please feel free to contact me with your questions and concerns.
To see books I recommend on self harm please go here.