The act of self harm is where a person deliberately inflicts some form of harm to their own body. Studies have suggested that by the age of sixteen years old one in ten have self harmed.

There are many different reasons for people to self harm and these are often unique to the sufferer and their individual circumstances. Some of the most common reasons for self harm include:

  • To attempt to turn some form of emotional pain into physical pain

  • To communicate their distress

  • To punish themselves or others

  • To express their anger

  • To distract from their emotional suffering

For some people physical pain is easier to understand and deal with which can often be a reason why people will want to self harm. For others the act of applying a bandage because they have self harmed can provide the distraction from the emotional suffering.

For me as a counsellor and psychotherapist that has worked with people who self harm for many years I believe one of the most important aspects of counselling is to be able to provide a safe environment and a strong therapeutic relationship for the sufferer to be able to feel that they can look at what may be going on for them. Counselling may not revolve around the self harm or presenting issue as there may be other aspects that are occurring for them and for me the counselling room places a vital role in providing a place that that feels safe enough to be able to explore all aspects of their life.


If you are worried that you or a loved one is self harming and would like to know if counselling may help please feel free to call me in confidence on 01189 680 900 or complete the enquiry form.




Self harm