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Self-harm: A process in which people hurt themselves in some way, a method some people use to deal with overwhelming psychological and emotional distress.

The act of self-harm distracts people from their emotional pain, pain such as sadness, guilt, self-loathing and rage. People self-harm in many ways, such as cutting, pulling out their hair, picking at their skin, burning themselves, preventing wounds from healing and punching objects or banging their head against the wall. Many people who engage in self-harm use multiple methods.


Self-harm is not sustainable

People who self-harm often feel relief right after the act, but the underlying emotional pain that is responsible for the act always returns. In addition, the self-harm causes its own set of problems. Besides possibly causing serious injury if taken too far, self-harm often becomes a compulsion that people can’t control. Self-harm causes people to avoid their real problems and often causes even more emotional distress, such as guilt and shame. People who engage in self-harm usually do so in secret. They isolate themselves, which can lead to feelings of loneliness. If left untreated, self-harm can lead to major depression, substance abuse problems and even suicide.

Signs of self-harm

If you suspect that a family member or loved one might be engaging in self-harm, know that there are some red flags to look for: unexplained scars or wounds, blood stains on towels or clothes, cutting instruments in the person’s belongings and the person being alone for long periods. You might suggest this person seek help and support from a trained therapist. If you engage in self-harm, here is what you can expect from therapy: The right therapist first shows clients new coping skills to deal with their emotional pain. The therapist can then tackle the emotional pain responsible for the self-harm behaviour.

How we can help

Treatment plans vary depending on a person’s needs. It is important that a person in treatment feels a connection with his or her therapist. The therapist should work at the patient’s own pace.

How many sessions does this take?

We treat all our clients on an individual basis, particularly when the distress is longstanding and impacts the ability to cope with everyday life. During the initial free consultation, we discuss the self-harm behaviour in more detail. This enables us to assess how severe the problem is and to determine the number of sessions that may be required. Please call us at 01823 272227 for your free initial chat to see how we can help. Or email us by Click Here .


  • Re Hair pulling 10 year old.
    Dear Mr Marar,

    I was so pleased when a friend recommended you to help my daughter, I had tried to go through the GP route and had just received a referral to CAMS but as the appointments would all be in school time that would be more disruptive than useful.

    Lucy was suffering with a mixture of anxiety and depression after losing a pet she was very close to. She had been pulling out her eyelashes for several months, which we thought was a “habit” that she would “grow out of”, the sadness we had though was just a natural phase after losing the pet. Then when she started doing mock exams for SATs the pressure became too much and she was unable to sleep and became anxious all the time. This is when I realised that we needed some proper help.

    We came to you in late November/early December for our first appointment. Although you were over an hour away by car, we could come on a Saturday morning which suited us well. After the first session Lucy already seemed different, like a weight had been lifted. We used the CDs, did the tapping twice a day and she also had the homeopathic remedies as well as cranial osteopathy. It felt great to be tackling the anxiety/depression from all angles, it felt like we couldn’t fail. Lucy began to feel better and with each session she improved.

    I think in all we only had maybe 5 or 6 sessions but they were worth every ounce of effort and every penny as I now have my little girl back. Having lost all the “joy” in her life she is back to doing handstands in the garden and messing about like a 10 year old should. By Easter her eyelashes were grown back (and they take some time to grow) Even when the dreaded SATS came, we used the CDs again, having given them a rest once she felt better, and we did some tapping and she got through them without too much trouble.

    I know that Lucy may always be susceptible to anxiety/depression as we always thought she was a “worrier” but now I know to be aware and so does she, and we have the tools to deal with it before it becomes an issue, and we know we can always come back to Taunton to see you if we need to.

    I hope other people read this and bring their children in for you to help them. It was definitely the best thing I ever did.

    Best wishes

*Please note results vary from person to person

To find out how we can help, please book in for a free initial chat.

For appointments in Taunton, Marlborough House Therapy Centre call 01823 272227

Bristol  Clifton Area, email us or call 07850373537 for appointments

For appointments in London, High Street Kensington, call 07850373537

Or E-mail us, please CLICK HERE for a contact form

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