Self-injury as an addiction

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Self-injury as an addiction

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We don't really know whether self-injury is an addiction, a medical model, or whether it is just a coping strategy that people can choose to not engage in anymore. There are different philosophies out there. At SAFE, we do not see this as an addiction or a disease model. We believe that this is a coping strategy that people can recover from and be okay. However, there is some new research -- and we don't have much neurobiological research in this area -- but there are researchers that are beginning to study this. We are finding that there might be some brain changes that take place, similar to other addictions that take place with self-injurers.

View Wendy Lader, PhD's video on Self-injury as an addiction...

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Wendy Lader, PhD

Psychologist

Dr. Lader is co-founder and clinical director of the S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives Program. An internationally recognized expert on the treatment of self-injury, she lectures extensively on the subject and is co-author of the book, Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers as well as Self Injury: A Manual for School Professionals. In addition, she served as the expert for a training video on Self-Injury for the American Psychological Association. Dr. Lader is co- founder of the Self-Injury Foundation and a founding member of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury. 

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