Contagious nature of self-injury

Learn about: Contagious nature of self-injury from Wendy Lader, PhD,...
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Contagious nature of self-injury

I’m often asked about whether kids can catch this from one another. In other words is there a contagious kind of effect. And we are finding that we’re not really sure exactly where that comes from or the mechanism for how that works. But we do know that kids who are close together, if one child is doing it, other kids are going to pick up on it. My belief is that healthy kids will not continue doing that. It’s kids who are looking for a coping strategy, something that’s going to help them to feel better, that they’re going to see one kid doing it and they are going to pick up on it and try it. And the kids who try it and it works for them – in other words, it helps them feel better emotionally, it calms them down, are probably going to do it more frequently.

Learn about: Contagious nature of self-injury from Wendy Lader, PhD,...


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Wendy Lader, PhD


Dr. Lader is co-founder and clinical director of the S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives Program. An internationally recognized expert on the treatment of self-injury, she lectures extensively on the subject and is co-author of the book, Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers as well as Self Injury: A Manual for School Professionals. In addition, she served as the expert for a training video on Self-Injury for the American Psychological Association. Dr. Lader is co- founder of the Self-Injury Foundation and a founding member of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury. 

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