Teen Self-Harm Counseling and Resources
Christian Hill, also known as "The Self-harm Counselor", is one of the most well known leading experts, pioneer, and authority for successfully counseling teens who self-harm. Mr. Hill has been helping teens recover from self-harm since 2002 as well as helped hundreds of families navigate this difficult process.
Mr. Hill has trained thousands of counselors nationwide and is a highly sought-after speaker and trainer. If you would like training for your organization please click here
By: Christian Hill, MA, LPC: The Self-Harm Counselor
The Self-Harm Counselor Self-Harm Interviews Part 1:
Having spent the last 20 years working with teens who self-harm, I have always believed, and still do to this day, that the real answers to teen self-harm recovery lie within the clients themselves. Even though I've trained hundreds, maybe even thousands, of other school counselors and mental health professionals, any opportunity I get to bring a panel of teens at different stages in their self-harm journey for questions and answers, I seize it! Although I have the experience to provide helpful strategies for teen self-harm recovery from the 30,000-foot view, I always gladly give up any speaking time I'm offered if I can get the teen panel's individual stories at ground zero out to the public.
In my teen self-harm blog, I would like to start a new series that I hope will provide more behind the scenes looks from the perspective of former clients who struggled and survived teen self-harm whose stories absolutely need to get out to help others. In this interview series, I am intentionally asking questions for the benefit of parents. I know how desperate parents can feel when they discover their child is intentionally hurting themselves. So any information that helps parents understand more about self-harm as well as how to best support and help their child overcome self-harm is unquantifiable and valuable.
Today I would like to introduce you to a former client we will call "Madison". Madison, thank you for your willingness to share your story. I know this information will be very helpful to others.
Me: Before we dive too much into the topic of self-harm, tell us a little bit about you and your current season of life.
Madison: I am 25 years old, and I am a single mom. I just finished my associates degree and am currently working towards a bachelor’s degree. In addition to going to school and being a full-time mom I try to work as much as I can. Me: Madison, tell us a little about your childhood and the family you grew up in. Madison: Growing up my family consisted of my mom, dad, and sister. My dad worked a lot, and my mom was a stay at home parent for most of my childhood. Starting in about 4th grade I was home alone quite a bit, as my mom was busy doing things with my sister and my dad was working. It definitely always felt like my feelings were not valid and did not matter. I was in middle school when my parents got divorced. The divorce was rough at the time but looking back I am glad it happened. I was always a good student in school, straight A’s and no behavior problems. School was a major stressor for me though.
Dark Secrets of Self-harm in 2 Minutes
Teen Self-Harm, Self-Injury, and Teen Counseling
By: Christian Hill, MA, LPC: The Self-Harm Counselor
Do you have a friend or teen in your life who is struggling with self-harm? They might be too embarrassed or ashamed to admit it, but self-harm isn't uncommon. It can take many forms, from cutting themselves, burning, or even scratching at their skin until it bleeds. Sometimes people will even bite their lips until they bleed.
It's difficult for these teens to talk about their pain, and some may not know how to start a conversation about this topic. They might even avoid getting help for their emotions and behaviors because they don't know where to begin. It's also common for teens to share images of themselves harming themselves in social media outlets like Facebook or Instagram.
However, this is obviously not a healthy way to cope with your emotions. The problem is that these posts aren't private, and anyone can see them, so it could lead to peer pressure and other problems for the teen who is posting these kinds of photos.
People who self-harm don't want to hurt themselves, but they feel that they don't have a way of coping with their emotions or dealing with life's problems. Tragically, many people think these teens are just "silly" or "provoking" themselves or just going through a phase. They may even feel upset with the teen because the act goes against social norms and parents' values they have instilled in their children.
Self-harm usually encourages even more poor coping skills and is a vicious cycle that promotes additional isolation and hiding. This also makes self-harm a concern for parents or teachers because it can lead to a range of other issues--including depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts--if not treated immediately by professionals.
People who self-harm may believe that they are "damaged goods," which can prevent them from forming attachments with other people and keep them isolated from others. If a teenager is self-harming, it can help them learn how to talk about their feelings in a healthy way.
It's also important to note that many people who self-harm may not understand the severity or repercussions of their actions. They may not comprehend how much damage they are doing to their bodies and will often be afraid of the pain involved with harming themselves, even though they actually feel relief after doing it. Additionally, it is common for teens who self-harm to think that they are "bad". This causes them great shame and guilt, which can fuel even more self-harm thoughts.