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.