There are many reasons that people self harm, but mostly it is an attempt to cope with extreme emotional distress.


These are comments from a woman I worked with as an OT, talking about herself and others in the supported community house I worked in, which was also printed in a HG Journal


“Sometimes we have these feelings because we feel we no longer matter; we no longer have a place in the world of so called normal people. The one thing that most self harmers have in common is they have very little or no self esteem or confidence. Maybe we feel that our bodies, like our feelings are worthless: that, by self harming, we are somehow making our bodies equal to our minds because, to us, they are ugly.”


“it somehow removes all the pressure in our heads, sometimes just for hours, sometimes days or weeks”


“I was Angela before I ever became a self harmer”


and wishes that mental health professionals would help to “give people back their status in life and then perhaps end that overwhelming need to mutilate ourselves”


“look beyond the self harm and negative behaviour”


to “learn new skills and new ways of coping”


Human Givens therapists would view this behaviour as a way of coping and work with the person to build self esteem through looking at what emotional needs are lacking and working towards getting these met. Detraumatising techniques may be needed, ways to calm and other life skills taught depending on individual need.

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LYNDA              BRYER

Human Givens Therapist

Self Harm

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