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What Is Self-Harm and How Counselling Can Help?

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Self-Harm and How Counselling Can Help

Self-harm is very prevalent, and it affects a lot more people than you might think. According to research, 10% of young individual’s self-harm. It is essential to understand that you will not always feel the way you feel now and that it is possible to live without it. Most people who self-harm fully recover with the right help. You should seek counselling in Calgary or wherever you live because it can significantly decrease the severe consequences of self-harm. 

What is Self-harm?

Self-harm is when someone deliberately injures themselves, mostly through cutting, to deal with difficult emotions. The behaviour is also called non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). It is often associated with distressing feelings and overwhelming thoughts, and it is usually a sign of anxiety. Anxiety counselling in Calgary offers significant help in this regard. If you don’t live in Calgary, you can easily find a psychologist in your area or opt for online counselling. A person may harm themselves to gain relief from the emotional pain they are feeling, and it might also help them maintain control when they lack hold on other parts of life. Let’s look into the different forms, warning signs, causes, consequences and management of self-harm.

Forms of self-injury

Self-injury often leaves a mark on the skin, and it usually occurs in isolation. Different types of self-harm include:

  • Scratching
  • Burning
  • Cutting
  • Words or symbols carved on the skin
  • Punching or hitting oneself
  • Using sharp objects to pierce the skin

Any area of the body may be self-injured, but primarily arms, legs and front of torso are targeted. More than one method may be used by people who self-harm. Some individuals may harm themselves only a few times, while others may repeatedly do so in the long term.

Warning signs of self-harm

Common signs of self-harm include: 

  • Isolation
  • Usually covered clothing
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Collection of unusual tools
  • Bloodstains on personal belongings
  • Under or over-eating
  • Over-dosing
  • Self-poisoning
  • Getting into fights to get hurt

Why do people self-harm?

Following are the common reasons or causes of self-harm:

  • To feel a sense of control
  • To feel pleasure
  • To punish themselves
  • To distract themselves
  • To express their pain
  • In response to being bullied
  • In response to stress
  • In response to losing something important
  • In response to experiencing abuse


  • If not treated, worsening of underlying problems and disorders 
  • Severe or fatal injuries
  • Physical deformities or permanent scars
  • Worsening feelings of poor self-esteem, shame and guilt
  • Increased risk of suicide

Getting help for self-harm

Once a person gets into a cycle of self-harm, it becomes incredibly challenging to stop it. Talking to somebody is the first step to getting out of the cycle. It may not be easy for you and may also seem like a daunting task initially. However, this is an integral step towards healing and recovery. The underlying issues are usually first identified during self-harm treatment, and then each one of them is addressed according to the need. It may take time, effort, and your desire to treat self-injury. Getting professional help from therapists in Edmonton or wherever you live can assist you in making the required changes. There are many ways of getting help, and for many, a combination of professional help and self-help techniques is the key.

How can counselling help?

Psychological counselling can help an individual who self-harms in many ways. These include:

  1. Identifying and managing problems that trigger self-injury: 

Once the underlying issues are identified, their management becomes easier, and thus counselling becomes effective.

  1. Learning how to use your emotions: 

A qualified psychologist may help you learn ways of regulating your emotions and provide you with self-help tips to respond to different situations in a better way.

  1. Learning ways to manage distress: 

Counselling may also assist you in learning skills to manage stressful situations and matters in a calm demeanour.

  1. Developing social skills: 

A psychologist may also help you develop social skills and improve your relationships, forming a social support system for you. Anxiety counselling in Calgary can develop adequate socialization in individuals who try to keep themselves isolated. You can find help from a psychologist in your area if you are having similar issues.

  1. Learning healthy ways of problem-solving: 

As there are many ways of solving a problem, counselling may teach you healthy ways of going about such situations and may prevent avoidable stress factors.

  1. Learning how to improve your own image: 

A person’s self-image plays a vital role in how they treat themselves. Therefore, improving it and creating a positive self-image may help in stopping an individual from self-harm.


With the right help, recovering from self-harm is possible. People seek help from therapists in Calgary and Edmonton because these professionals know effective ways against self-harm. If you experience self-harm urges, you should find assistance from a psychologist near you at the earliest because the long-term impacts of self-harm can be dangerous. 

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