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Why do people self-injure? And what is the best way to respond when someone tells us they self-injure? Clinical psychologist Dr. Nicholas Westers of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) interviews the leading experts in the field of self-injury and self-harm as well as individuals with lived experience of self-injury and parents and family members of those who have self-injured. This podcast is meant to be a resource for parents, professionals, and people with lived ...
 
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Every screenwriter and film director is different and each has their own intentions and motivations, but what goes into the writing of characters who engage in self-injury and self-harm? How are such films inspired, and how do writers and directors choose to frame self-injury content? In this episode, screenwriter, director, and actress Christina B…
 
Does it matter where on the body someone cuts, whether on typically more visible sites such as the forearm and wrist, or in typically more concealed areas, such as the upper arm and torso? Is there a relationship between where someone cuts on their body and their likelihood of continuing to engage in the behavior? In this episode, Dr. Gardner discu…
 
Are there countries, races, or ethnicities with higher or lower rates of self-injury? How prevalent is NSSI among indigenous peoples, and what role does culture play in the form, function, and meaning of self-injury? In this episode, Dr. Marc Wilson from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa New Zealand shares about cross-cu…
 
According to a 2020 national survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), among 52.9 million adults with any mental illness in the United States, 46.2% received mental health services in the past year, which means more than half did not. Although there are known, effective treatments for mental disorders, the Wo…
 
The term "self-harm" is an umbrella term, encompassing a broad range of behaviors, under which is included substance abuse and misuse, suicide, nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), and even eating disorders. In this episode, Dr. Katie Gordon, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Fargo, North Dakota, discusses the prevalence of self-injury among individua…
 
In this first episode of Season 2, Brittany details her experience of engaging in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), how it started, and how she makes sense of self-injury and her faith in God. She explains two starkly different responses she received from church leaders and shares insights about how youth pastors in particular can provide supportive …
 
How can schools appropriately respond to students who engage in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), whether the behavior occurs at home, on school grounds, or elsewhere? What protocols exist to support schools to better respond to students who self-injure? What role does liability play? In this episode, Dr. Nancy Heath of McGill University in Montreal,…
 
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) has been lauded as an evidence-based treatment for addressing suicidal and nonsuicidal thoughts and behaviors. In this episode, Dr. Jenny Hughes explains what DBT is, describes what "dialectical" means, and walks us through how each of the four modules of DBT can be used to address nonsuicidal self-injury and self…
 
If you’ve never engaged in self-injury or self-harm, then you may have never considered the anxieties related to something as seemingly simple as a routine doctor visit. In this episode, Brittany Tinsley explains what questions she asks herself prior to attending routine doctor visits in order to ease her anxiety about medical providers seeing her …
 
Manga are comics or graphic novels originating from Japan. Not only do manga reveal and reinforce cultural values, beliefs, and norms, particularly in Japan, but they can also be used as a teaching tool and source of information. Manga and other comics can be used in medicine to learn and teach about illness and to build empathy. They also have the…
 
Many parents understandably want their child to stop self-injuring immediately, but cessation of self-injury is often a process and recurrence of episodes of self-injury can be expected, even when in therapy. In this episode, Dr. Jessica Garisch provides insight for parents about expectations for therapy and helping their child stop engaging in sel…
 
Why is it important to talk about nonsuicidal self-injury among LGBTQ individuals? Just how prevalent is self-injury among those who identify as LGBTQ? And are there differences in rates of self-injury among sexual minority individuals (e.g., Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual) compared to those that are Transgender or Gender Diverse? In this episode, Dr. …
 
When is it appropriate for someone who engages in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) to be admitted to an acute psychiatric inpatient program? And how realistic is it to expect no self-injury or self-harm to occur at all while in the hospital? How should hospital staff respond and intervene when someone engages in self-injury while on an inpatient unit…
 
In this episode, Lexy details her experience of engaging in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and the stigma she has encountered as a result of self-injury and self-harm. Lexy is the current Student Representative of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) and a PhD candidate working in the area of self-injury stigma. She is curr…
 
When we talk about nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in this podcast, we are typically referring to the most common forms of NSSI. But what about rarer, more significant forms of self-harm and self-harming behaviors that do not fit neatly within the typical definition of NSSI, like ingesting foreign objects to intentionally cause internal injury? And …
 
How do we assess self-injury differently than 20-30 years ago? Rather than asking someone to remember how they were thinking and feeling when they last self-injured days, weeks, and even months ago, advances in technology allow researchers and clinicians to monitor self-injury and self-harm in real time, as it occurs. In this episode, Dr. Glenn Kie…
 
A lot of therapies address the context in which nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and self-harm may occur, but only a few treatments have been designed to address NSSI specifically. In this episode, we dive into one of these treatments: Treatment for Self-Injurious Behaviors (T-SIB). Dr. Peggy Andover, its lead developer, walks us through the 9 sessio…
 
How many psychologists have lived experience of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI)? What biases should mental health professionals with and without a history of self-injury keep in mind when treating or supervising someone who has lived experience? In this episode, Dr. Victor shares preliminary data that she has just begun analyzing regarding the preva…
 
In this episode, Malika details her experience of disclosing her self-injury to her parents as a teenager, seeking treatment, and how she decided to start Selfharmerproblems Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow her on Instagram and YouTube, and visit her new website at www.selfharmerproblems.org. To watch all her YouTube videos about her lived exper…
 
What are some common reasons people give for choosing to disclose their self-injury? How do positive and negative reactions affect someone’s willingness to disclose their self-injury or self-harm in the future and their likelihood of discontinuing their self-injury? In this episode, Dr. Ammerman shares findings from her research in which individual…
 
Imagine receiving a phone call from your child's school expressing concern that your child might be suicidal. This is Dee's story. In this episode she shares about how she was able to differentiate between self-harm of suicide and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), support her daughter through the process, connect her to therapy, and what advice she h…
 
What is the quality of online health information related to self-injury and self-harm? What are some of the risks and benefits related to seeking self-injury content on the internet? In this episode, Dr. Lewis details 3 overarching risks and 4 overarching benefits of accessing self-injury content online. He also discusses his research related to th…
 
What are common ways we talk about self-injury or self-harm that may inadvertently perpetuate stigma about the behavior and those who engage in it? In this episode, Dr. Hasking offers a unique way of thinking about words like "contagious" and "recovery." She also provides insights into the pros and cons of including a Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Disord…
 
If you suspect that your child might be engaging in self-injury, how do you start the conversation and how often should you check in with your child so that you are not being too invasive? How can parents safely set rules if they fear their child might self-injure in response to these rules? In this episode, we answer these questions and more as we…
 
Today there is still confusion among a lot people about the differences between suicide and nonsuicidal self-injury. Although nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a form of self-harm and a risk factor for attempting suicide, the two behaviors should not be confused and those who self-injure should not be assumed to be “suicidal.” In this episode, we d…
 
Self-injury does not reflect typical behavior, but it is also not uncommon. One in five adolescents across the globe reports having self-injured, and one in twenty adolescents in the United States reports having self-injured 6 or more times in the past 12 months. Self-injury isn’t limited to adolescents: 13% of young adults and 6% of adults also re…
 
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