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Struggling with the desire to hurt yourself? Counselling can help you stop self-harm

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Updated Jan 24, 2024 by Dr. Sheri Jacobson Dr Sheri Jacobson

Self-Harm Counselling in London

When life is challenging does hurting yourself seem like the only solution?  Don't know how to stop, and are friends and loved ones concerned?

Why do I self-harm?

Deliberately injuring ourselves is actually a coping mechanism. At some point we discovered that if life feels too overwhelming or we are in too much mental or emotional pain, physical pain can displace our negative thoughts or difficult feelings. 

But while self-harming might briefly make you feel better, it is not a positive way to cope and works at best as a temporary plaster. It doesn't change any of your problems. Nor does it make the feelings you struggle with go away. Instead, it can damage your body, alienate the ones you love, and send you on a spiral of guilt, loneliness, and increasingly low moods.

Is it really self-injury? 

Self-harm can include any of the following behaviours:  

  • cutting or burning
  • constant scratching and picking
  • banging or hitting parts of your body
  • overuse of substances (food, drink and meds)
  • putting yourself into dangerous scenarios
  • manipulating others into hurting you. 

Counselling and psychotherapy for self-harm

The desire to hurt yourself can feel like something you can't stop doing. But with the right support it is entirely possible to overcome your urge to self-harm.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a treatment for self-harm. It helps you recognise the thoughts and feelings you are having that are triggering you to hurt yourself, and helps you break the cycle. 1

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is also recommended, as well as in some cases family therapy.  

Self-harm treatment - The Harley Therapy™ approach

At Harley TherapyTM all of our expert and highly trained self harm counsellors and psychotherapists are 'integrative', meaning they are trained in several kinds of therapy they can combine to suit your needs.

Our therapists understand you have been doing the best you can, and are here to support you, not judge you. Together you can get to the bottom of the issues that drive you to self-harm, as well as recognise the inner resources you have to move forward into handling life's challenges in a more constructive way.  

Related issues and disorders

Self-harm often comes hand-in-hand with things like substance use, bipoloar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, generalised anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which your therapist can help you with. If required, your therapist can also refer you to our private psychiatrist for diagnosis. 

Our welcoming central London therapy clinics

Self harm therapy at Harley Therapy™, London, can help you tackle your issues, raise your self-esteem, and move forward with a more positive outlook on yourself and your life.

Call us now or complete our online booking form to make an appointment with one of our counselling psychologists or psychotherapists at Harley Street, London Bridge, and Liverpool Street. We also offer online therapy and telephone counselling. 

1Nice guideline NG225, "Self-Harm: Assessment, Management, and Preventing Recurrence."

How to book your session

Call us now on 0345 474 1724 OR book online

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All of our practitioners are qualified and accredited with reputable professional associations for counselling and psychotherapy.

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Self-harm therapy can help with:

  • self-cutting
  • self-burning 
  • scratching/picking
  • hitting yourself
  • substance misuse 
  • engaging in dangerous activities
  • overwhelming emotions
  • low self-esteem
  • difficult childhood experiences.
Self Harm - A Help Guide
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