Self-Harm Behaviour

Deliberate self-harm is a behaviour in which a person purposely inflicts physical harm on her or himself. These behaviours are often an attempt to regulate negative emotions that become intolerable. Teens use a number of self-harming methods, most commonly cutting, poisoning, burning, or overdosing.  Children tend to engage in scratching or biting themselves. There are many contributing factors that lead an individual to self-harm.  Some common issues include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsivity
  • Teasing and/or bullying experiences
  • Family dysfunction and conflict
  • Abuse

Self-harm behaviour can be serious and signals an individuals level of  emotional distress.  It is important that a child or adolescent who is self-harming be assessed by a qualified mental health professional.

At The Therapy Centre, our clinicians are trained in assessing self-harm behaviour and risk of suicide.  We will provide Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to treat individuals with self-harm behaviour.  DBT is an evidence based treatment to help children and teens regulate their emotions by teaching them healthy coping strategies.