What Parents Should Know About Self Harm


As self-harming behaviors and suicidal ideation continue to be on the rise, especially with adolescents, it is becoming increasingly important to better understand these behaviors.  It is common for adolescents with self-harming tendencies to experience feelings of isolation in their sadness and depression as well as feeling hopeless in escaping their pain.  Self-harming behaviors serve as a way of surviving intense emotions for our young people.

However, pain can end when we meet it with kindness, understanding, and compassion. Too often when teens try and open up about self-harming tendencies it is met with shame or guilt, which in turn causes the behavior to continue or manifest into something else.  We all learn to cope with our emotions in different ways. For teens, self harm can be a way to escape the pain of reality, if only for a moment. Healing comes when we learn to express our emotions and also reconnect with our nervous system.

Mindful mornings, a group for adolescent girls, will help your child learn to be present in the moment and feel their emotions instead of trying to cope in a way that pushes them deeper down.  It will also offer a compassionate, safe space to educate and normalize the intensity of feelings and to help girls understand why we cope this way and to learn new ways to cope. When we remove the shame from these behaviors, and instead listen with a compassionate ear, one’s ability to heal and relearn patterns can begin.

Mindful Mornings is a psycho educational group for high school aged girls where together with peers and guided by licensed counselors , we will learn mindfulness strategies, learn to identify unhealthy vs healthy patterns of behavior and relationships, as well as learn to express emotions in a safe way.  To find our more about group therapy options for your daughter visit our website at www.brighterskycounseling.com/group-therapy


Written by Julia Chandler, LPC

Julia is a therapist at Brighter Sky Counseling. She is a co facilitator of the adolescent girls group, Mindful Mornings and works individually with adolescents and adults.