2004
Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1567-7109
  • E-ISSN: 2468-1652

Abstract

Abstract

Self-harming behavior among adolescents is an alarming phenomenon: it is a sign of underlying suffering and not knowing how to handle this. Often, there are intense and overwhelming emotions which are unbearable for these patients, or emotions can be completely absent. There are indications that the number of adolescents who self-harm is increasing. In contact with these young people the attitude of professionals is extremely important. Self-harming behavior also has a great impact on professionals, in some cases leading to a deterioration of the relationship with the patient who self-harms. In the first part of this article the phenomenon of self-harm will be described, as well as the prevalence of self-harm among adolescents. In the second part, a qualitative study regarding the patients’ perspective on recovery from severe self-harming behavior is presented. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 women who had successfully stopped their severe self-harming behavior. Although the participants were adults, their problems started during adolescence, thereby influencing their recovery. The study was executed based on the grounded theory method. The researchers found that the process of stopping self-harm proceeds according to six phases. The bond between professional and patient was identified as key to all phases of the process of recovery. Interventions should focus on strengthening the therapeutic relationship between professional and patient, encouraging patients to develop a more positive self-image and stimulate them to learn alternative behavior for self-harm.

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2019-09-01
2021-09-18
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): nonsuicidal self-injury; recovery; Self-harm; young people
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