Deliberate Self-Harm Treatment

A quick introduction to self-harm

Self-harm is just as dangerous as the symptoms of depression that typically accompany it, and it can lead people to feel that they’re worthless and helpless. But self-harm is treatable, using our three-step process:

  • Get the right diagnosis and a holistic treatment plan tailored to you
  • Receive the right treatment, including psychotherapy, dialectical behavioural therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy for self-harm
  • Redevelop a sense of purpose, move forward without having to hide scars and wounds, and manage the symptoms that would typically lead you to hurt yourself
 

We don’t just work with you to treat the symptoms; our holistic approach means you’ll have all the tools and techniques you need to relieve the impulse to self-harm.

What is self-harm?

Self-harm is the act of deliberately hurting oneself or putting oneself at risk. It can include forms of neglect, but it is more common for self-harmers to inflict physical pain. Learn about self-harm and see some examples.

Meet our self-harm specialists

Our specialists have decades of combined experience in diagnosing and treating self-harm. They are dedicated to keeping up to date with all the latest developments in psychiatry to deliver the best care for you — because we know that the right treatment combination can be truly transformative.

What causes self-harm and how can it make you feel?

The reasons a person may choose to self-harm can be numerous and complex. We outline some of the potential triggers of self-harm and how people who regularly self-harm often feel.

What treatment for self-harm is available?

Treatment for self-harmers may include counselling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy or dialectical behavioural therapy. At Psymplicity Healthcare, we adopt a holistic approach that puts your wellbeing first. We’ll develop a tailored plan that takes your circumstances, medical history and any underlying conditions into account, prescribing treatment that helps you live a balanced life, not disrupts you further.

What is self-harm?

Self-harm is the act of causing deliberate harm to oneself. Those who self-harm often do so in an attempt to regain control, relieve intrusive thoughts or punish themselves. While self-harming methods usually inflict pain, some people harm themselves by putting themselves at risk or adopting neglectful behaviours. Common examples of self-harm include:

  • Cutting, burning or biting
  • Banging your head or hitting your body
  • Taking personal risks
  • Picking and scratching
  • Neglecting basic needs
  • Pulling out hair
  • Starving yourself or making yourself sick

 

Any method of self-harm can become addictive, especially if the pain is a distraction from a person’s emotional distress. It is also common for self-harmers to become secretive about their condition through fear of being judged by others. 

Self-harm is most common in young people, but can also affect adults of various backgrounds. According to recent data, asylum seekers, members of the LGBTQ+ community, members of the armed forces and those who have experienced sexual abuse or been victims of abusive relationships are more likely to self-harm. Whatever your background, the team at Psymplicity are here to help.

What causes self-harm and how can it make you feel?

Those who self-harm are often struggling with depression, and so the symptoms of each can be similar. Because self-harm is a common side effect of depression, it’s easy to assume that self-harm exists only as a potential symptom of another condition. However, the causes and potential triggers of self-harm are many, and it’s important that we help you recognise what these are so that we can get a plan in place and ultimately stop these repetitive, harmful behaviours:

Have You Experienced:

People who self-harm will typically feel a range of emotions, from feeling hopeless and isolated to powerless, lacking control and insignificant, as if their opinions don’t matter or that they aren’t listened to. These emotions can both trigger and follow self-harm, which makes for a dangerous cycle that endlessly repeats itself — unless treatment is sought. For example, an individual might feel that they cannot control their life, so they cut or burn their body as a way to exercise control. However, what follows are feelings of frustration that they could not control their impulse, which triggers further self-harm.

While disordered eating may be a harmful behaviour in itself, it can also trigger other harmful behaviours. An individual with an eating disorder may cut themselves, perhaps due to feelings of depression or low self-esteem or as punishment for certain behaviours, such as a binge.

These are just some of the more common triggers of self-harm. The reality is that there are many situations that can lead a person to self-harm as a coping mechanism. As the condition is so complex and diverse, it can be difficult for a sufferer to pinpoint why they are feeling a certain way, which is where our expert psychiatrists and supporting psychotherapists can bring clarity. 

At Psymplicity Healthcare, we have supported many clients from mild to severe cases, so whatever your concern, we’re here to help. Following a thorough assessment of your symptoms and behaviours, including their frequency and duration, we can diagnose you and help relieve you of the baggage of living with the effects of this condition.

The Psymplicity approach to self-harm treatment

At Psymplicity Healthcare, we provide an integrated approach to self-harm support and treatment. Treatment can include psychotherapy, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy or dialectical behavioural therapy (or a combination of these) which we can arrange for you all under one roof.

Cognitive behavioural therapy for self-harm works by replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones to help you reframe your attitude towards potential triggers. Dialectical behavioural therapy can help you rationalise your thoughts to reduce the urge to self-harm, while counselling and psychotherapy are highly effective at treating self-harm for those who favour a more conversational approach. 

Our psychiatrists will begin by carrying out a thorough assessment of your symptoms to reach the right diagnosis. This will consider the frequency of your self-harm behaviour and how long you have been suffering to develop a personalised treatment plan that will guide your journey to a better, more fulfilling life.

Your self-harm treatment plan

Following our in-depth assessment and subsequent diagnosis, you’ll benefit from a personalised and balanced treatment approach that prioritises managing your symptoms and reducing the impact of the condition on your life.

Step One

To ensure a perfectly tailored treatment plan, we begin with a professional diagnosis and produce a personalised assessment report, which you’re welcome to share with your GP. 

Step Two

Our experts will evaluate your particular needs and create a bespoke treatment plan that suits you in every way. We have a deep-rooted understanding of the benefits of specific methods of therapy, so you can rest assured you’re in safe hands.

Step Three

Patients with a tendency to self-harm need continued care and support, which is why we recommend follow-up appointments to review progress, discuss any concerns and support you on your path to recovery.

Meet our specialists in self-harm diagnosis and treatment

Our specialists are among the best in their field, having successfully treated many clients with symptoms of self-harm and related conditions (including mild and moderate cases) for decades. We know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and that to provide the transformation so many of our clients enjoy requires a bespoke, holistic plan — one we’re confident you won’t find anywhere else.

Additional resources

What you need to know about Self-Harm

Find more information here

Discover the different types of treatments for self-harm, how to manage your urges and negative thoughts and lots more in the self-harm section of our blog.

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Empowering Self-Help Resources

Psymplicity provides patients with access to a wealth of self-help resources, including articles and guided exercises, to support their journey.