The connection between self-injury and the need for control

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The connection between self-injury and the need for control

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I often hear from self-injurers, that self-injury makes them feel like they are in control. The question is, in control of what? What are they in control of? What we are finding is that it's a sense of being in control of their emotional life. When their emotions become too intense, this is a technique, a coping strategy that helps them stop those intensive emotions; so they feel like they are in control. The problem is the self-injury ends up controlling them. It's very important for them to be comfortable with their own emotional life. People can't get through life and be in relationships and be happy, unless they are comfortable with their whole myriad of emotions. Therefore, self-injury becomes a very unproductive behavior.

See Wendy Lader, PhD's video on The connection between self-injury and the need for control...

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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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