Self harm is a sign that
people are not coping with aspects of their life. People harm themselves to release
the emotional pain and express this through physical pain. They do it because it works, just as addicts use whatever they are addicted to, to manage their emotional pain.
Some people harm by cutting. For some people they may cut themselves in places which are visible or very likely to be evident over time whilst for others they may cut themselves in intimate locations on the body to prevent people from finding out how they are not coping.
Cutting is the most well know form of self harming but not the only one. Some would argue that substance misuse is a form of self harming too, others would include food deprivation, eating disorders and any activity which gives a physical expression of emotional pain.
Self inflicted harming is a mechanism to deal with the immediate emotional pain of the person who adopts this means to release their emotional suffering. It offers a short release from the psychological pain. Once the physical effects have been experienced the underlying issues remain and so at some point when that emotional pain re-emerges the desire to resume returns. Some people develop a pattern of self harming with external triggers, such as a particular time of day, or a particular location which they associate with this behaviour reinvigorates a desire to harm beyond the underlying emotional issues. Some people will develop a routine to their harming and this routine evolves into a compulsion with the same urges and triggers as any other addictive behaviour.
A common misconception is that this behaviour is an indication of suicidal thinking. The reality is that by experiencing this pain they are able to temporarily address their emotional pain. This is a complex coping mechanism which, like addictive behaviour helps someone to deal with their feelings leaving them feeling less anxious, stressed, or more in control of their lives. This behaviour, though damaging to the body, is just an expression of how a person is feeling.
"Sarah" had been cutting since here early teens. She had many marks on here wrists and now she had found the whole experience addictive. After deep therapy, a toolkit to manage her thoughts and feelings and embedding of this new learning and dealing with life using hypnosis, she stopped cutting and harming herself over a 4 month period. "Sarah" also had a relapse prevention toolkit.Which although she did not use, gave her the confidence to continue to manage her feelings.
Treatment to deal with harming can be very effective using counselling, and a range of self esteem,
anxiety and stress management tools plus hypnosis. Everyone is different but building a good toolkit to meet the needs of the individual is key.
break the psychological compulsion to self harm I can help by changing how to with
the world, how a self harmer feels about themselves and give a new sense of
direction, a sense of purpose alongside support to identify and work towards
personal goals to live a meaningful, fulfilling life.
Treatment is not quick, but can be done remotely or face to face. I will offer a realistic time-frame with realistic goals. The website has a range of the tools and techniques to mange each aspect of self harm, from dealing with anxiety, self esteem, confidence, motivation and also to dealing with the addictive compulsions of harming. I will support you to learn and use these tools plus others too as they become relevant to your needs. I will help you move carefully through each phase of treatment,such that you can exit and live the life you want, able to deal with the complexity of living without hiding from life but living life on life’s terms.
I have been working with people affected by harming and addictive behaviours throughout my entire career and have formally worked with self directed harm in some challenging setting including psychiatric units. I have also dealt with this issue in rehabs, secure units, children’s secure units, school settings and within community setting and have developed harming recovery techniques to meet the needs of my clients during that time. Repeatedly clients have demonstrated a rapid change in self esteem, a rapid change in their belief in their ability to cope and this has been borne out by their recovery.
Recovery can be slow but steady. You may notice your mood change within a few weeks and there will be a steady improvement whilst you actively engage in treatment
People can and do completely recover from this, but it is because they have been part of the treatment process, trying new things and learning to be honest about their feelings, their thoughts, their fears and their ongoing difficulties. By helping you to cope with how you feel and giving you practical coping strategies to current issues. Treatment for harming can be relatively short and long lasting.
Access the right treatment for you and dare to imagine how different life will be in less than a year from now.