Forms of self-injury

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Forms of self-injury

One of the things that I often say is that self injury is as limitless as the imagination. It is really amazing to me the creative ways that people can come up with in harming themselves. However, the most common things would be burning. So if a parent sees cigarette burns or something like little burns, that may be that they are being self inflicted. So that is what to look for. And excoriation, which are fingernails. It is not actually cutting with an object but taking fingernails and scratching one´s self. Younger kids do what we call banding. They take rubber bands with the little metal pieces on them and snap them until they get burns or eraser burns. So those are some of the things that younger kids will do. But then we can get into more dramatic and serious forms of self injury. And that can be embedding pins or needles or any kind of foreign object, pencil tips, under the skin so that is a possibility. And ingesting or injecting foreign objects or substances and certainly hitting oneself. Sometimes kids will actually hit themselves with their hands or other objects.

View Wendy Lader, PhD's video on Forms of self-injury...


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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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