Self-harm can be confusing and bewildering for both staff and service-users. Ideas about ‘manipulation’ or a ‘cry for help’ do little or nothing to help prevent future self-harm. This course explores some alternative notions and examines ways that support workers can make a difference in a genuinely difficult situation.
There is a great deal that support workers can do to help people who harm themselves. The trick is to be able to see past the behaviour and to understand the person who cuts themselves, takes overdoses or otherwise injures themselves.
In the past this sort of behaviour has been written off as attention-seeking or as an attempt to manipulate workers and yet most self-harm happens in secret and never comes to the attention of the staff.
Something else is going on and the tired old notion that it is merely ‘behavioural’ is both meaningless and irrelevant in a modern context of deliberate self-harm.
The course covers:
Definitions of self-harm
A cry for help?
Is it all just attention-seeking?
Self-harm and suicide – are they linked?
Pain, the brain and self-soothing behaviours
The emotional purpose of self-harm
Helping people to ‘get past’ self-harm
Managing the risks
Emotional support for workers
Dos and Don’ts
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