I want to say thank you for all your support. Jane’s insight into the way childhood experiences can influence adult life and the way she helped me reflect on this was of great benefit to me .I feel that working with you has made a huge difference in my life and that this is due to your skills and commitment. I would certainly recommend your service to anyone looking for a counsellor. Felicity

I do not think I would of survived without the consistent support I received during the very dark early months. The whole experience from start to finish has enlightened me and made me stronger and able to say no. The safe haven and the structure of the sessions helped me to feel secure. I had someone who cared what happened to me. Sue

I felt extremely supported from the first session and was able to explore how I was feeling in a safe environment. It was much better than my expectations .At times it felt like someone had thrown me a lifeline and I could see a way out of what had felt like a hopeless situation. I began to feel in control of my life again. Janet

Knowing About …. Self-Harm

Self-harm is really a broad term for many acts which cause personal harm whether deliberate or not. It can incorporate a wide spectrum of self abusive patterns. These can range from failure to give attention to one’s own emotional or physical needs, right through to the more direct forms of self-mutilation, burning or injury through taking toxic substances. Self-harm can also include eating distress and certain addictive behaviours.

Little is known about self mutilation, a frightening yet common act of abuse. Often called “attention seeking” and “manipulative”, it could be better described as the expression of an inner scream.

Self-inflicted injury involving cutting, burning, scratching or gouging could be viewed as a symbolic way of expressing deep distress, a non-verbal form of communication in which the feelings are externalised through the body where they can be dealt with in a more visible way. Yet because of its very visibility, self-injury is often treated with mistrust and fear.

No accurate statistics are available about the numbers of people who self-harm since few people are willing to admit to having caused their injuries themselves. Staff feel helpless when faced with self inflicted wounds and this may cause them to blame, rather than support, the person involved. When time and resources are limited and no one really knows how best to help, it’s easier to make judgements and use labels than to spend time looking for possible causes of distress.

Taken in part from the Mind ‘understanding’ series of publications

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