Self-Injury clients require several things for effective treatment.
- They need a confidential, trusting relationship with the therapist. It's hard to talk about it.
- Self-injurers are usually acutely aware of how "crazy" their behavior appears to others, especially, in most cases, family members. Consequently, they need help with the shame that comes with the behavior.
- Sometimes abuse or other types of trauma underlie the behavior. In such cases, at Bill Jacobs LPCC, we use EMDR to reprocess old psychological wounds.
- Because self-Injurers are generally intelligent and sensitive, they are also usually quite verbal. Talk therapy process negative and unpleasant emotions.
- A non-judgmental relationship is essential. Therapists who react with revulsion or anxiety in the face of their behavior will communicate their feelings unconsciously if not verbally.
- Self-Injurers need someone who will help them learn healthier ways of coping with life's difficulties.
- They need someone who can accurately assess their state and provide as much safety as possible.