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Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI) and Treatment at BGC

Non-suicidal Self Injury (NSSI) Information and Treatment at BGC

Fran Tierney MA LCPC, Director of Special Programs

Ben Gordon Center

Non-suicidal self injury (NSSI) is the deliberate, self inflicted destruction of body tissue resulting in immediate damage, without the intent of suicidal intent. Recent prevalence studies indicated that as many as 17.2% of adolescents and 13.4% of young adults have participated in this behavior. The act of self injury can include a variety of behaviors, and is most commonly associated with:

  • Carving or cutting of the skin
  • Burning self
  • Banging or punching objects or self with the intention of hurting oneself

The intention behind the action is very important to examine and understand, as NSSI can look very much like a suicidal gesture. For this reason, professionals who work with self injury behavior, must look at the reason why, as well as the specific self injury which has occurred.

Detection and intervening in NSSI behavior can be difficult for parents, friends and teachers, since the acts are often secretive and are hidden under clothes.   If you notice any unexplained burns, cuts, scars it is important to pay attention and begin a conversation with your loved one.

Effective therapy interventions should focus on ways to offer NSSI clients the opportunity to:

  • To learn about and manage anxiety and depression
  • To learn and develop new coping skills, and improve internal awareness and improved communication with family and friends
  • To improve their capacity to regulate their emotional distress
  • To gain insight and understanding into recognizing their triggers and develop a plan for managing these triggers

The Special Programs Team, at the Ben Gordon Center offers quality NSSI services to our community in Individual therapy, Group therapy, and Family therapy settings. We also offer a combined treatment approach, including medication as an option, which is decided upon in collaboration with client, family and providers.

If you or someone you love, is struggling with Non-Suicidal Self Injury behaviors, please call 815.756.4875 to learn more and set up an assessment with one of our Special Programs clinicians.

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2015 Wraps Up


As National Eating Disorder Awareness Week comes to a close, we hope that if you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, you will choose to begin your fight to reclaim your life.

The Special Programs Team at the Ben Gordon Center is here to help you in your journey.  Please call (815) 756-4875…Recovery Is Possible!

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Here!

downloadPlease join Ben Gordon’s Special Programs Team in celebrating Eating Disorders Awareness Week —February 22-28th!

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2015

Click Here or stop by the Ben Gordon Center to learn more.  We have an informational table set up in the lobby and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

2015 Theme:  Had No Idea…
The goal of national Eating Disorder Awareness Week is to increase awareness of Eating Disorders and to improve the understanding of their causes, triggers and treatments.  By increasing awareness and access to resources, we encourage early detection and intervention, which can improve the likelihood for a full recovery.  

Help is available and recovery is possible.

Please call 815.756.4875 if you or a loved one would like more information on the Eating Disorder Services offered by the Special Programs Team at the Ben Gordon Center.  

Ben Gordon Center ANAD Meeting

downloadBen Gordon Center will be having a 2nd ANAD meeting this month.


Please join the Special Programs Team Monday, February 23th at 6:30 PM during Eating Disorder Awareness Week

For an open discussion on eating disorders and wellness.

Friends and family are welcome!

For questions, please call John at 815-756-4875

EDAW – Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Coming!

downloadOvercoming an Eating Disorder requires more than giving up unhealthy eating behaviors.  It requires specific intervention in order to learn how to properly cope, identify, and manage emotions.  But most importantly, it is also about rediscovering who you are beyond your eating habits, weight, and body image.  Ben Gordon Center follows a multidisciplinary model that offers a variety of treatment options to tackle the problems of eating disorders, including:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy:
    • Eating Disorder/Body Image
    • Emotional Eating
    • Family Support for Eating Disorders and Self Injury
    • ANAD Support Group
    • Nutritional Assessment & Counseling
    • Intensive Case Management
    • Return to Daily Living – an intensive treatment track for our patients being discharged from inpatient or IOP treatment, and transiting back into their daily lives; also used for those who are experiencing symptoms of relapse. 

For more information on the Eating Disorders program at the Ben Gordon Center, call 815-756-4875 and ask to speak to Fran Tierney or please go to

Successful Relationships

Why Relationships Succeed:

By Fran Tierney MA LCPC

Director of Special Programs

Ben Gordon Center

If you want to succeed in love, you simply must have specific interpersonal abilities. Based on scientific studies, we now know exactly what these abilities are. If you have these abilities, the chances are excellent that you will be treated with respect and admiration by your intimate partner.

The most important of these successful, interpersonal habits involve actions and ideas that you must be able to carry out without the help of your partner. In fact, you must be able to carry out these activities precisely when your partner is making it most difficult for you to do so. Researchers have discovered that the way people respond when they feel misunderstood or mistreated by their partners dramatically influences the odds that their partners will treat them better or worse in the future. The way you respond to the worst in your partner plays a central role in determining whether or not you’ll experience something better from him/her in the future. Evidence suggests that you can dramatically influence the way your partner treats you regardless of whether he/she is deliberately trying to be nicer to you or not. This is because his/her level of motivation has so much to do with how you interact with him/her.

You can’t control your partner, however, you can influence the odds of a better future with him/her by making sure that you are responding well to any unfair or disrespectful treatment you may be receiving from him/her right now. Another important predictor in relationship success is how you THINK. Your attitudes/thoughts are more important than what you say.

Predicting Relationship Success – 10 Traits

Bring on 2015 – New Year New You!

new years resolution

New Year New You!

The new year brings us all the best of intentions and we tend to aim high. Exercise, weight loss, whatever your goals, they are likely lofty ones and can feel overwhelming. However, there are a few pretty simple steps you can take that will improve your mood all year.

 Cultivate gratitude. It may sound like new age bunk, but thinking about what you have and being grateful for it is becoming a new mantra in the psychology field for good reason: it works! Next time you’re pining for something different in your life, think of this quote — “Never let what you want prevent you from enjoying what you have.”

 Eat enough. You probably already know that being hungry makes you cranky, but research shows that calorie intake that is too low actually releases cortisol, the stress hormone. If you’re trying to limit calorie intake, experts recommend cutting as few as 50 calories a day until you reach a comfortable amount.

 Practice kindness. Being kind to others improves our connections to people, helps us perceive others more positively, and actually produces “feel good” chemicals in the brain. This one is easy and will improve your mood as well as the moods of those around you.

 Get outside. Next time your mood is lagging, instead of hitting the coffee pot in the office, take a walk outside. It doesn’t have to be long or even vigorous. Just five minutes of natural light and some outdoor air will improve your mood.

 Check yourself. This step takes fewer than 5 minutes and can make a big difference. Take an anonymous and free mental health screening at Ben Gordon Center Screening to see if your symptoms need professional attention.