Counselling for Self Harm

Counselling for Self Harm

Self harm involves a person injuring themselves in some way.  Self harm has two forms, the first involves a discrete episode where the individual hurts themselves by cutting, burning, hitting or poisoning.  The second type of Self Harm involves ongoing mistreatment that has become part of an almost daily routine for example alcohol abuse or an eating disorder.

Who Can Counselling for Self Harm Help?

Do you intentionally cause harm to yourself when you are distressed?  Do you find that harming yourself reduces your distress in the short term? Have you been unable to tell others about your Self Harm or have you found that they are unable to either listen or understand?  Do you feel unable to resist the urge to Self Harm?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to at least one of these questions you may benefit from our counselling services for Self Harm.

A Recent Testimonial

“I had therapy before but anxiety kept recurring with a higher intensity every time. I was feeling despair, panic and physical exhaustion when I had my first session with Venetia.  She helped me to understand my thought process and the impact it was having. She provided me with the techniques to challenge the negative thoughts and learn more helpful ways of thinking. Through our work together I have been able to bring balance and control to my life. Although negative thoughts can flare up at any time I now feel confident that I have the tools and mental strength to manage my emotions.
Venetia was highly dedicated and had a genuine commitment and interest in helping me to find solutions. It was very apparent that she was doing a lot of work outside of the sessions to ensure our sessions remained personal and specifically targeted to my own ongoing treatment.”.
Patricia - Clapham

What Does Treatment for Self Harm Involve?

Step 1

You will start by meeting with one or our Therapists to discuss what is currently happening to you. They will ask you some general questions about your life, relationships and other commitments and also some more specific questions about the issues that lead you to self harm and what you would like to achieve through your counselling.  They will then use this information to develop a counselling programme for you.

Step 2

The next step will be to work with your Therapist to understand what feelings cause you to Self Harm and why you cannot resist the urge to Self Harm.

Step 3

Your Therapist will then teach you alternative coping strategies to your Self Harm which if practised frequently can be used to reduce distress to a more tolerable level.

Step 4

You will then focus on eliminating the triggers to your Self Harm by looking at your environment and how you currently respond to it. You will then learn alternatives that will promote well being and calm.

Step 5

Finally, you will explore with your Therapist the factors that have made you vulnerable to Self Harm in the first place so that together you can devise techniques to protect yourself from these in the future thus preventing relapse.


Prices can be found on our Fees Page. If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to call 0800 002 9068 or fill out a contact form.


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All of our Therapists offer Self Harm counselling, click here to view the team.

What causes Self Harm?

Self Harm helps the individual to tolerate and manage high levels of emotion/distress.  Sufferers speak of how physical pain is easier to tolerate than emotional pain and so by creating physical pain they can focus their mind away from the emotional pain bringing relief.

Self Harm develops in people who experience high levels of emotions and do not have the skills, resources or support to manage them.  This is usually a result of childhood experiences of abuse or neglect (physical, sexual or emotional).  Self Harm is most likely to occur when someone feels hopeless and/or powerless.

How common is Self Harm?

Self Harm is more common in women than in men.  About 10% of the population will Self Harm at some point but this is likely to be an underestimation as individuals often feel ashamed of the behaviour and as a result do not seek help.

What is the treatment for Self Harm?

After the physical injury has been treated there two main psychological treatments that are used to help people who Self Harm, these are Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

More Reading on this Subject

Should you wish to find out more about Self Harm then you can check out our self harm related blog articles here.

For more information on alcohol abuse click here.

For more information on eating disorders click here.