Self Harm & Emotional Pain

Psychotherapy, self harm and emotional pain.

This page features a collection of video lectures on the subject of self harm orNon-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) and it’s connection to emotional pain.  These resources, I hope, will provide some personal and professional answers in dealing with, or appreciating the phenomenon of self harm. The aim of this learning is to bring awareness of what is possible and what is needed to assist others with the same issues. Self harm is a behavior to be respected, because it serves the person. It is also a behavior to be taken seriously, and with compassion.

Willis, J. on “Bullicide”

Willis tells us about the impact of bullying on people who self harm. He also explains with neuroscience that both physical and emotional pain activates the same area of the brain.

Lewis, J. on his personal experience with self harm

Lewis’ sharing of his experiences of self harming may resonate with many people. As in the above video, bullying is known to be a trigger for self harm.  Lewis tells us of the value of loving people who are suffering from emotional pain.

Working with Self Harm in Psychotherapy

Self harm is a clear indication of the need to cope with un-bearable emotional pain. The most important aspect of treating clients who have learnt this coping strategy is to authentically respect the person, what he/she does and feels. The therapy sessions will then deal with the emotional turmoil that underlies the need to self harm. Therapist and client work together to understand the origins of difficult feelings. Reminiscing past experiences in a secure therapeutic environment bring up emotions attached to these experiences. As Lewis explains, it is the cutting that silences the emotions. Therapy brings the voice back to these emotions. This voice is also heard by the therapist who respects the process.
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