How to get help and stop self-harming
Self-harm is a coping mechanism that can be a sign of emotional distress or trauma from current or past experiences. Seeking help from a therapist or counsellor who specialises in self-harm can be a crucial step towards understanding and managing the underlying causes of self-harm. On this page, we will explore how therapy and counselling can help individuals who struggle with self-harm.
What is self-harm?
Self-harm is any intentional act of self-injury that is not meant to be suicidal. It can take many forms, including cutting, burning, hitting, scratching, or pulling hair. Self-harm is often used as a way to cope with intense emotions or to distract from emotional pain.
Why do you self-harm?
You may be self-harming for various reasons. It may be a way for you to cope with overwhelming emotions, such as anger, sadness, or anxiety. Or it may be that you are self-harming as a way to feel something when you feel emotionally numb. It might also be your response to your experience of trauma or abuse and you are using self-harm as a way to cope with the pain and feelings of powerlessness. Additionally, you may be self-harming as a way to communicate your emotional pain to others or to punish yourself.
What are the effects of self-harm?
Self-harm can have serious physical and mental health effects. Repeated self-injury can lead to infection, scarring, and even permanent damage. Additionally, self-harm can worsen feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Long-term self-harm can also have an impact on relationships, work, and social activities, making it more difficult to recover and leading to a cycle of self-harm.
How do you get help for self-harm
The first step towards getting help for self-harm is to recognise that it is a problem and to be willing to seek help. It can be challenging to talk about your feelings and why you self-harm, but it is important to reach out to someone you trust, a trained therapist or counsellor can work with you to develop healthy coping mechanisms, explore the root causes of your self-harm, and build a support network to help you on your journey towards recovery.
If you are considering therapy or counselling for self-harm, it is important to find a therapist who specialises in working with self-harm. Below you will see the names of therapists who work specifically with clients who self harm.
In addition to seeking therapy or counselling, there are also many resources available to those struggling with self-harm. Support groups, crisis hotlines, and online communities can provide a safe space to talk about self-harm and receive support from others who have gone through similar experiences.
How to help someone who is self-harming
It can be incredibly hard to see someone you love or care for, self harming, if someone you know is struggling with self-harm, it is essential to approach them with empathy and understanding. Offer your support and encourage them to seek professional help. Avoid judgment or shaming, and instead focus on helping them find the resources they need to break the cycle of self-harm.
If you are watching and caring for someone who is self-harming you may also need to get your own emotional support to cope with the emotional issues that you are managing and to help you to remain strong and resilient for the person you are supporting.
Taking the next step to get help for self-harm
If you or someone you know is struggling with self-harm, it is essential to seek professional help. Therapy and counselling for self-harm can provide you with the tools and support you need to break the cycle of self-harm and develop healthier coping mechanisms. You can start by contacting one of the following therapists who work with self-harm.
© Brian Cotsen