5 “I didn’t cut my wrists because I wanted to die… “I didn’t cut my wrists because I wanted to die…. I cut because I wanted to live.”
6 WHAT is Self-Injury? Common Myths… SELF-INJURY DOES NOT EQUAL SUICIDE Not the same as Body ModificationDoes not occur only in teenage girls“Crazy” / “Freak”“Manipulative”“Attention-Seeking” vs. Attention-NeedingSeverity of SI does not necessarily indicate severity of emotional painSelf-Injury IS treatableGraphic warning for next slide
7 Two reasons:Desensitize yourself - so your response does not increase child’s shame, or feed the behaviorCheck your response … If cringe, it’s because this hurts. Dispel the manipulation myth. Plus realize depth of emotional painWhat other forms of SI….
8 WHAT is Self-Injury? Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: Cutting BurningCarving words/symbolsScratchingHair-pullingBiting to bleedIntentionally harming body tissue, without suicidal intent, in a manner that is not socially sanctionedPreventing wounds from healingHitting to bruise or otherwise damageTattooing/piercing/body modification—IF done to moderate emotion
13 WHO Self-Injures?Approximately 1% of population (~2 or 3 million Americans)Across gender, nationality, socioeconomic status, age, ability-level, sexual orientation, etc.High incidence in adolescents, but occurs (or can begin) in children, adults, and the elderlyTends to be more visible in females, but appears to be about an equal ratio for males – higher risk methods in malesIncreasing incidenceNo longer only among clinical population: found among general populationHigh number of abuse survivors use SI for copingMay be genetic predisposition to depression, anxiety, or other disorders that makes SI a desirable coping strategyAnimals: particularly those in isolation without other contact
18 HOW Do We Work with Self-Injury at Open Sky? Thorough Re/AssessmentTherapeutic Interventions:Behavioral RegulationEmotional RegulationCommunication SkillsAccountabilityFocus on the emotions, NOT the behaviorExplore counterproductive nature of SICompassion and EmpathyUnderstanding, without judgmentMedical Treatment, as neededPeer SupportSafety Watches, as neededMedical Checks, as needed
20 HOW Can Parents Help? STAY CALM - monitor your reaction Take it seriously (whether overt or covert)Don’t mistake SI for suicidal intent, but consider thatFocus on the underlying emotions, NOT the behaviorDon’t ignore itAsk to see injuries and advocate for proper treatmentTake away obvious implementsHave your child work with a therapistDo your own emotion regulation workAvoid shaming your childBe mindful of websites and media that promote SIStay compassionate and be patient
22 CAN People Stop Self-Injuring? YES, Absolutely.It just takes time and support.
23 Thank you for participating! Please keep this browser window open. When the presentation is complete, it will take you to a short survey for today’s webinar.With further questions, please contact:Kirsten Bolt, LMFT