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Self Mutilation

Self Harm & Self Mutilation

I often see clients dealing with issues involving self harm or self mutilation. Self mutilation is something that many people- pre-teens, teenagers and even adults, choose as a way to deal with what they are feeling. In my counseling work, I talk with clients about their reasons for turning to self harm as a coping mechanism. I hear all kinds of different things, but often it comes back to pain and not knowing any other way to make the pain go away but to inflict it upon themselves. The client is in pain and doesn't know what to do or how to cope effectively or in a healthy manner and instead turns to self mutilation as a way to make the pain stop or at least lessen. Sadly though, self harm is just a temporary fix for the pain and it often comes back. I believe we were created for relationships. God exists in relationship with Himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and He created us for relationship with Him and with others. When we harm ourselves, we are not relating to others. We are only "talking" to ourselves. The pain has no where to go, no way to get better, no shoulder to cry on. Pain needs to be shared, feelings need to be voiced, burdens need to be shouldered- and not just alone. In counseling with clients who use self harm as a coping mechanism, I often encourage them to make a list of healthy, positive alternatives and to remove the items they typically use to harm themselves from their surroundings. We discuss ways to express emotions in healthy ways to others and ways to share feelings with another as openly as possible. If you use self mutilation as a coping skill and realize it's not healthy for you nor is it really making the pain go away, I encourage you to try counseling as a way to help you overcome the struggle and learn that deeper healing is possible for you!