Are you the parent of a child who talks about harming themselves or expresses suicidal thoughts? Have you noticed sharp objects in their room or perhaps cuts or burns on their body? Would you like to help, but worry that your intervention might push your child over the edge?
Perhaps you are the partner of someone who has a borderline personality disorder and are concerned that their emotional instability could lead to further crisis. Or maybe you are the family member of someone whose patterns of self-harm have actually landed them in the hospital and you worry that, without help, the inevitable will happen.
Whether you are the parent, partner, or relative of someone who is in crisis, feeling powerless to help the ones you love is terrifying. If you’re a parent, you may worry that your child’s self-destructive behavior is the result of something you did. As a partner, you likely feel as if you have tried everything to connect, to understand how you can help, but nothing made a difference. And to make matters worse, the guilt of feeling held hostage by your loved one’s behavior creates a mix of emotions that generates even more stress.
If this sound like you or someone you love, self-harm counseling can provide you with answers, solutions, and hope. We understand and specialize in helping individuals of all ages discover a life of fulfillment and peace that they may never have thought possible.
Everyone Expresses Their Pain Differently
Many of those who have thoughts of suicide or engage in self-harm are extremely sensitive people. They are usually born with a heightened innate emotional sensitivity that can be a beautiful quality—if you know how to manage it.
These are individuals who are genuinely caring and empathetic and who don’t really want to hurt themselves—or anyone, for that matter. But from an outsider’s perspective, self-harm can look like a selfish plea for attention—something that will go away if it is ignored.
The truth, though, is that self-harm serves a very real biological purpose. The self-inflicted pain creates powerful endorphins that calm anxiety and alleviate stress. And the rush of adrenaline momentarily electrifies the otherwise all-encompassing numbness. Even just talking about hurting oneself can create a calming effect.
Cutting, burning, carving, biting, headbanging, excessive piercing—all of these examples can serve as coping mechanisms for dealing with everything from stress to relationship problems. Moreover, sometimes these behaviors are expressions of anxiety, depression, or trauma that are coming from someone who doesn’t know how else to communicate their pain.
If we can understand the purpose that this behavior serves, we can develop healthier ways for managing intense emotions. At Suffolk DBT, we understand exactly what your loved one is going through. With their commitment to healing and your support, we can help you rediscover the person you thought you had lost.
Self-harm Counseling Can Provide You With Empowerment And Hope
Working with us will give your loved one the chance to really understand the core motivators for their behavior. It can give them powerful tools and awareness they can use to regulate their emotions and turn outward for help instead of inward. Moreover, we offer you validation for your own experiences and emotional pain as well as tips for navigating the unique aspects of your relationship.
All of our clients can expect to be greeted with a warm and accepting environment where we can talk openly without judgment. If you are the one engaging in acts of self-harm, we’ll explore elements of your past and present to identify and understand possible triggers for your behaviors. We will also look at how you feel when you are engaging in self-harm to establish the purpose that your behavior may be secretly serving.
One of the best aspects of our approach to healing is that we are not trying to change who you are. Our goal is to teach you how to embrace that sensitive quality in yourself in a way that benefits you and promotes growth.
Our specialized treatment strategy can offer you healing, no matter how severe your situation is. Unlike other modalities that focus on changing aspects of your personality, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) allows you to really understand who you are and what your feelings and actions represent. DBT therapy is about accepting yourself and learning what to do with those powerful emotions.
Additionally, we can offer mindfulness exercises and emotional regulation techniques to reduce impulsive acts of self-harm and to create a safe place for you when facing distress. We can also offer you tools for increasing distress tolerance, such as dive response skills, that lower your heart rate, slow internal processes, and create a sense of calm.
Moreover, we understand the importance of integrating loved ones into the therapeutic process. For that reason, we ask you—partners, family members, or friends—to also attend sessions once a week so that we can provide you with the same skills and level of awareness that your loved one is discovering.
At Suffolk DBT, we have a clear understanding of how self-harm impacts both the individual and their families. We also know that it is possible for your loved one to be free from suffering and that we can help make that happen. At every step of the way, you will all be surrounded by compassionate and caring professionals who are dedicated to promoting healing. In time, your relationships can improve and the person you love can be restored.
Perhaps you still have some concerns about self-harm therapy…
I feel like I am a lost cause.
Many people have come to us feeling pretty much the same way you probably do about getting better. From years of experience, we can tell you that you can change your life for the better. If you are suffering right now, we can offer you research-based healing strategies that can reduce the impulses to hurt yourself and give you healthy alternatives to self-harm.
My child has been through individual counseling for self-harm and nothing changed.
That’s because many health professionals aren’t equipped to deal with self-harm or suicidal behaviors. Training to help people overcome these issues is very difficult and requires a specialized approach to creating a comprehensive plan for sustainable healing. Now only do we have an intimate understanding of self-harm. But we absolutely love our work. Witnessing our clients rebound from their pain to enjoy happy, meaningful lives gives us the confidence that your child can heal too.
I am afraid that my partner will come back different, in a bad way.
We understand that change can be difficult—even scary. However, our approach to healing always balances self-acceptance with positive change. In our sessions, your partner can gain the resources and tools needed to change not who they are but how they react to triggers. In time, they will be able to harness their sensitivity and manage their feelings in a way that safeguards their health and brings peace into your relationship.
Let Us Help You
If you or someone you love is engaging in acts of self-harm or dwelling on thoughts of suicide, we can provide comprehensive healing and support. Please call 631 828 2264 to set up your appointment to see how self-harm counseling can help you or your loved one.
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