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Welcome to the Open Sky Webinar  We will begin at 6 pm. See you shortly!

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to the Open Sky Webinar  We will begin at 6 pm. See you shortly!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to the Open Sky Webinar  We will begin at 6 pm. See you shortly!

2 SELF-INJURY: Understanding Why Kids Harm Themselves Kirsten Bolt, MEd, LMFT Open Sky Clinical Therapist Kirsten Bolt, MEd, LMFT Open Sky Clinical Therapist

3 Today’s Presentation:  WHAT is self-injury?  WHO self-injures?  WHY do people self-injure?  HOW do we work with SI at Open Sky?  HOW can parents help their kids?  CAN people stop self-injuring?  WHAT is self-injury?  WHO self-injures?  WHY do people self-injure?  HOW do we work with SI at Open Sky?  HOW can parents help their kids?  CAN people stop self-injuring?

4 WHAT is Self-Injury?

5 “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 Modification  Does not occur only in teenage girls  “Crazy” / “Freak”  “Manipulative”  “Attention-Seeking” vs. Attention-Needing  Severity of SI does not necessarily indicate severity of emotional pain  Self-Injury IS treatable  Common Myths…  SELF-INJURY DOES NOT EQUAL SUICIDE  Not the same as Body Modification  Does not occur only in teenage girls  “Crazy” / “Freak”  “Manipulative”  “Attention-Seeking” vs. Attention-Needing  Severity of SI does not necessarily indicate severity of emotional pain  Self-Injury IS treatable

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8 WHAT is Self-Injury?  Non-Suicidal Self-Injury :  Cutting  Burning  Carving words/symbols  Scratching  Hair-pulling  Biting to bleed  Non-Suicidal Self-Injury :  Cutting  Burning  Carving words/symbols  Scratching  Hair-pulling  Biting to bleed Intentionally harming body tissue, without suicidal intent, in a manner that is not socially sanctioned  Preventing wounds from healing  Hitting to bruise or otherwise damage  Tattooing/piercing/body modification—IF done to moderate emotion

9 WHO Self-Injures?

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13  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 elderly  Tends to be more visible in females, but appears to be about an equal ratio for males – higher risk methods in males  Increasing incidence  No longer only among clinical population: found among general population  High number of abuse survivors use SI for coping  May be genetic predisposition to depression, anxiety, or other disorders that makes SI a desirable coping strategy  Animals: particularly those in isolation without other contact  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 elderly  Tends to be more visible in females, but appears to be about an equal ratio for males – higher risk methods in males  Increasing incidence  No longer only among clinical population: found among general population  High number of abuse survivors use SI for coping  May be genetic predisposition to depression, anxiety, or other disorders that makes SI a desirable coping strategy  Animals: particularly those in isolation without other contact

14 WHY do People Self-Injure?

15  Like any coping mechanism, BECAUSE IT WORKS.  Three primary reasons:  Decrease overwhelming emotions  Help FEEL emotions  Communicate distress  Like any coping mechanism, BECAUSE IT WORKS.  Three primary reasons:  Decrease overwhelming emotions  Help FEEL emotions  Communicate distress

16 WHY Do People Self-Injure?  Underlying Issues:  Abuse / Neglect  Depression  Bipolar  Anxiety  Obsessions/ Compulsions  Personality Disorders  Underlying Issues:  Abuse / Neglect  Depression  Bipolar  Anxiety  Obsessions/ Compulsions  Personality Disorders  Post-Traumatic Stress/Trauma  Eating Disorders  Dissociation  Impulse-Control Issues  Homelessness

17 HOW Do We Work with Self- Injury at Open Sky?

18  Thorough Re/Assessment  Therapeutic Interventions:  Behavioral Regulation  Emotional Regulation  Communication Skills  Accountability  Focus on the emotions, NOT the behavior  Explore counterproductive nature of SI  Thorough Re/Assessment  Therapeutic Interventions:  Behavioral Regulation  Emotional Regulation  Communication Skills  Accountability  Focus on the emotions, NOT the behavior  Explore counterproductive nature of SI  Compassion and Empathy  Understanding, without judgment  Medical Treatment, as needed  Peer Support  Safety Watches, as needed  Medical Checks, as needed

19 HOW Can Parents Help Their Kids?

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 that  Focus on the underlying emotions, NOT the behavior  Don’t ignore it  Ask to see injuries and advocate for proper treatment  Take away obvious implements  Have your child work with a therapist  Do your own emotion regulation work  Avoid shaming your child  Be mindful of websites and media that promote SI  Stay compassionate and be patient  STAY CALM - monitor your reaction  Take it seriously (whether overt or covert)  Don’t mistake SI for suicidal intent, but consider that  Focus on the underlying emotions, NOT the behavior  Don’t ignore it  Ask to see injuries and advocate for proper treatment  Take away obvious implements  Have your child work with a therapist  Do your own emotion regulation work  Avoid shaming your child  Be mindful of websites and media that promote SI  Stay compassionate and be patient

21 CAN People Stop Self-Injuring ?

22 YES, Absolutely.

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  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


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