Is self-injury a choice?

Learn about: Is self-injury a choice? from Wendy Lader, PhD,...
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Is self-injury a choice?

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At Self Alternatives, we see self injury as a choice. And the choice is between feeling or not feeling. In other words, if the underlying issue is that these kids have intense emotional states that they don´t know what to do with, self injury is an impulse to stop that emotional intensity. So it is always as far as we are concerned a choice to feel, to allow their feelings to come, even uncomfortable feelings. We don´t like the word bad or good feelings. Rather they are uncomfortable feelings. And we see it as a choice to allow those feelings to come and recognize that there are just feelings. They are not going to hurt them. They are not going to kill them. And once they recognize that they can tolerate those feelings, life opens up for them. So we do always see it as a choice to feel or not to feel.

Learn about: Is self-injury a choice? from Wendy Lader, PhD,...

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Wendy Lader, PhD

Psychologist

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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