Self Harm Treatment

Orange County Mental Health Treatment

self harm treatment

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Sometimes, people use self harm to cope with stress and other mental health issues. Around five percent of people at any given time practice self-harm. While a person who practices self-harm tries to hide this behavior from the people they love, a parent or loved one might notice the signs. 

Each year, more than 300,000 people go to the emergency room to treat self-harm injuries. To discover a friend or family member practices self-harm can be scary and overwhelming. However, some more information and basic facts can help a family member or loved one help the person practicing self-harm.

What is Self Harm?

Self-harm is the practice of a person hurting themselves when they can’t cope with the feelings, memories, or stress they have in their life. In many cases, the person cuts themselves in places that are readily visible. Other people might punch walls or practice different types of self-harm. These people need self-harm treatment to learn new coping methods to avoid self-harm in the future.

Why Do People Self Harm?

Many people who practice self-harm do so as a coping mechanism. It might be they can’t deal with the stress in their life, or they can’t adequately express the emotions that they feel. Sometimes, a traumatic event has occurred in the person’s past, and thinking about or reliving the moment leads the person to self-harm.  Therapy for self-harm is usually the only way to overcome it.

What Are the Signs of Self Harm?

It isn’t always easy to recognize the signs of self-harm, but it’s essential to know signs of self harming behavior. These self harm signs include:

  • Frequent injuries with unrealistic explanations
  • Wears long sleeves and pants when it’s hot outside
  • Numerous trips to the emergency room with minor injuries
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obvious issues in expressing their emotions

If someone worries that they’re struggling with self-harm, they must seek treatment. A loved one or family member might notice some of these signs and want to help. Treatment can be effective.

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Types of Treatment for Self Harm

Therapy for self-harm can take many forms, and the therapist works with the patient to find the right individual approach. In some cases, self-harm treatment can involve more than one type of therapy. It may take a combination of self-harm treatments to help the patient recover and develop new coping skills.


In some cases, the patient struggling with self-harm has a co-occurring mental health disorder, and the patient needs medication to control it. Some therapists might prescribe medication to help minimize the person’s anxiety. Medication is almost always a temporary measure, and the therapist will recommend ending the medication when the patient learns the coping skills needed to deal with the person’s desire to self-harm.

Individual Therapy

When a person has past traumatic events or has trouble expressing their emotions, working one-on-one with a therapist gives them the skills to examine the past or build new ways of dealing with emotions other than self-harm. Individual therapy is almost always used as a self-harm treatment, and the therapist may recommend different types of therapy to bolster the patient’s efforts.

Group Therapy

The therapist might recommend that the patient attend group therapy as part of their self-harm treatment. The group consists of other people struggling with mental health disorders and some with self-harm. Group therapy for self-harm can help the person see that they aren’t alone and learn the stories of others. Group therapy can also offer new insights and ways of coping with their emotions or past traumas.

Family Therapy

If the person dealing with self-harm has close ties with their family or still lives at home, it might be necessary that the entire family come into the office for therapy. This type of self-harm treatment can teach parents and other loved ones ways in which they can help the person struggling with self-harm overcome it. Family therapy can set the patient up for success..

How to Help a Loved One Who Self Harms

It can hard for a person who has a child or loved one who self-harms to know what to do and what actions to take. There are things that a loved one can do to help the person struggling with self-harm. Most steps a loved one can take include providing emotional support to the person struggling with self-harm and helping them take the first steps to receive therapy for self-harm.

Learn More About Self Harm

The first step a loved one should do is to learn more about self-harm. The idea might feel foreign for a loved one, and they might have a hard time processing the fact that their loved one self-harms. It can help them to learn more about why the person self-harms and that they aren’t the only one. 

It is essential to educate oneself about mental health conditions. A Mental health professional can help loved ones understand self-injury. Understanding the basics of self harm and mental health can help a person determine if treatment is necessary.

Offer Care and Compassion

Once the loved one understands the basics of self-harm, they must broach the subject with the person struggling with self-harm to help them get the treatment they need to recover. This requires care and compassion because the person might not want to admit that they have a problem.

Provide Unconditional Love

Many people who self-harm also struggle with self-esteem issues and might believe they aren’t worthy of love. A family member or loved one needs to provide this person with unconditional love. This means telling the person they’re loved and showing it as well.

Self-Harm Treatment in Orange County at First Light Recovery

When someone is struggling with self-harm issues, it’s essential that they seek therapy. A Self harm treatment center is the best way for the person to learn new coping skills and stop hurting themselves. However, it’s essential that the person find therapy for self-harm through the right program. 

At First Light Recovery, we have self-harm treatment programs that can help a person recover and build the coping tools they need. Each team member offers compassion and understanding to our patients and invests in their recovery. Contact us today to learn more!