Many clinicians are challenged and frightened by adolescents and adults who engage in self-harming behaviors. In an effort to decrease helping professionals’ anxieties and increase their knowledge base, this workshop will integrate information gathered from an extensive review of the literature with clinical anecdotes taken from the presenter’s work with clients who engage in self-injury. We will process categories, definitions, and manifestations of self-injurious behaviors, and address issues of co-morbidity.
We will explore the myriad of reasons why clients hurt themselves with a special focus on the onset of self-injury as it relates to the developmental challenges of adolescence and the impact of neglect, trauma, and abuse. Participants will learn about a specific “cycle of self-harm” which emphasizes the impact triggering events, negative cognitions and affect, dissociation, and anxiety have on self-harming behavior. It also provides helping professionals with a concrete model for intervention.
Treatment Strategies Offered
A variety of creative and effective treatment strategies will be offered to help reduce and eventually extinguish the behavior. These strategies are also applicable to other manifestations of self-harm including eating disorders and addictions. Helping professionals will learn specific ways to “work with” self-injury without engaging in power struggles, increasing the behavior, or relying on ineffective “safety contracts.” A more effective, alternative contract, called CARESS, will be presented. Clinical case examples, video, clients’ writings and artwork will be incorporated into the workshop.
12:00- 1:00 LUNCH
1:00 –2:30 pm
2:30- 2:40pm BREAK