Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Stopping self-injuring techniques

  1. #1
    Platinum Member girl friend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England, North
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,668
    Gender
    Female

    Stopping self-injuring techniques

    Stopping self-injuring techniques


    Right guys, I’ve set up this column for us to post techniques on stopping. Now I know that they will not work for everyone. What works will be different depending on each person. Please feel free to add on any more techniques you know, and pm me if you need anything!


    Self-injury is basically a coping mechanism. thereforeeee to stop, you need to find another coping mechanism. If you take away a cutter’s blades, all you do is take away their control, which could lead to feelings of helplessness, or even suicide. You also make it more dangerous for them, as a self-injurer will always find something to cut with if they need to.

    The techniques I use have been developed from psychoanalysis (yes Freud, give the guy a chance!), also learning approach to an extent, and cognitive therapy (changing faulty thinking!, as well as techniques that just seem to work for people I’ve worked with.

    What we need to do is convert the maladaptive coping mechanism (ways of coping that do work, but in doing so damage you in some way, such as cutting, burning, eating disorders, alcoholism, etc.) into adaptive ones, such as channeling those feelings through exercise, writing, music, etc.










    Technique number 1 – counselling technique.

    If you have someone else involved close enough to you to know, try to arrange a system where you call them immediately before you need to do it, and tell them what to say to you, (i.e. to talk you out of it.)

    I worked with a client once who wanted me to shout at her down the phone to “put the knife down” and my shouting at her actually helped!!! Not a good idea unless its been requested though. Perhaps the friend could instruct you to leave the room in which you were about to do it, then talk you through re-entering, putting away your equipment, etc.

    Also, be realistic. Don’t expect miraculous results. Like anything else, time to build up trust in a new technique will probably be necessary. I actually helped a client using this technique, and several months later she told me that when I’d been talking her through not cutting, for the first few phone calls, she had actually been doing it on the phone to me, although not to the extent she would have, had she been alone.

    It might work for you, if you have someone there, it might not. Good luck.






    Technique number 2

    Ok, lets ‘Time Travel’, or more professionally referred to as ‘Regression.’ – Psychoanalysis

    If you are injuring yourself deliberately in some way, chances are something started it off. And chances also are that you may not remember what it was. A trigger may have occurred in early childhood, abuse, neglect, intense loneliness, a death, bullying, or perhaps almost anything else.

    Try to think about the past as much as possible. Self-injury is usually a technique used to let out or relieve intense pain insides of yourself, that will not come out in any other way, but does get released through pain, often with particular emphasis on bleeding.

    If you can identify the emotions that you felt, and why you felt them at the very start of the self-injury cycle, once you are aware of why you started, it may make the past easier to deal with.

    (Note: at this point, you may need to see a counsellor or psychologist to ‘bring the past to the surface’. And it will also be very painful most probably, and difficult to think about these emotions.)

    You also may feel the need to talk to some people from the past about what happened if something did, and why, or ‘re-live’ the most painful parts, but this time, coping without cutting. Once you have let the pain out effectively, cutting should decrease and eventually stop. Because cutting only provides a temporary release, so it makes sense to go back to the initial source right?

    So basically, to summarise, focus on the past. On your emotions. On why you started, and try to deal with that thing in a different way (here it is by thinking it through or talking basically.)






    Technique Number 3

    Talking helps. - Psychoanalysis

    It really does. Talk about your experiences with someone, or something! Patch the dog is a good listener!! And it will help to say these things out loud. Or write down your feelings.

    Or perhaps find someone else, mb on here? And set up a peer-mentoring system, where two people work together on helping each other! Get pm each other!






    Technique Number 4 - Psychoanalysis

    This is quite a harsh one, but being shouted at or told some strict realities has actually been found to work for some people. Think about what you are doing. Its stupid. Its irrational. You are scaring your body for life. And you may never be able to explain away the scars. Also, it will be an everlasting reminder for you, if you do eventually stop. Just think about what you are doing. Once you come to resent the self-injury, (which is hard to do as it does help people through) it should appeal less doing it.






    Technique Number 5 – Cognitive Therapy

    Something you may all be glad to know. Self-injurers are almost certainly guaranteed to be the most intelligent individuals you will ever come accross. So you are all geniuses. It is often associated with ‘autistic genius syndrome’ – basically not feeling that you fit in, wrong planet syndrome – again feeling that you are an alien basically! And perfectionism.

    So you’re all geniuses. You’re all smart, amazing people who all have the potential to one day be something great in our world. So could you use this talent to help you stop. E.g. if you are able to write beautiful poetry, try picking up a pen and channelling those emotions down on paper.






    Technique Number 6 – Cognitive Therapy

    Obtain control

    Self-injury is often about control. It makes you feel that there is one thing in your life that you can control. thereforeeee look around you, is there anything else you could exercise control over? Even something as simple as organising Patch the dog into a routine. Or yourself! Can you make yourself feel more in control of your situation?






    Technique Number 7 - Psychoanalysis

    Cry

    Crying is an adaptive coping mechanism. It lets the pain out, without leaving lasting damage. After self-injuring for a long time, you may realise that you don’t cry anymore. And it can be very hard persuading your body to let you again. But it is healthy! It is an adaptive coping mechanism. Let yourself cry. Its not weak. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Being able to cry is very strong! I mean it.






    Technique Number 8 – general advice

    Schedule

    I’m fairly hesitant to include this one, because it is not based on any professional approach firstly, and secondly it seems to fail for just as many people as it works for… but if it works for some…

    Basically, try to plan your day out the night before. Include the time you will rise at, time to eat breakfast, time you will leave the house, time you will return, work breaks, tea breaks, email breaks, reading, tv programmes, bedtime etc… just plan every minute of the day from head to toe… and… heres the clincher… do not include self-injury anywhere!

    It might work. And it gives you some control, just having it written down. Also people who use this technique have reported that it is far easier to get out of bed in the morning knowing the day is (to an extent) already taken care of!

    (Don’t worry if this doesn’t work for you, it depends on personality type. It would stress some people out inevitably.)






    Technique Number 9 – general advice

    Exercise

    Again, another technique which I am hesitant to include… but if it will help someone, I will do so. Basically channel it into exercise.

    I can see many problems with this approach, such as it may not generalise or be too practical to have to do sit ups every time you experience a certain emotion… forever…. Also it assumes that. And that everyone consciously knows when they are going to do it/or that they are about to. And that people have the energy to exercise instead of cut, when often it is a drained and tired mood which precedes cutting. It also seems to assume that self-injury is just a habit that needs changing, without careful examination of the past to prevent it re-occurring.

    But yeh, you’re welcome to try it, if you think it could work for you.

    What we’re all about is hopefully you all coming out of this with a few techniques that you know work for you.






    Technique Number 10 - psychoanalysis

    I lie, not so much of a technique really, but a very important point.

    Do it for yourself.

    Do not try to stop for someone else. If you are with someone and you think it is hindering your stopping (no matter how supportive/therapeutic they are) then wherever possible, try to take control of it yourself. I’m not saying leave them, but this is something you need to do alone, for yourself.






    Technique Number 11 – cognitive therapy

    Think about the future.

    What do you want? Do you have a dream? A career? A partner? Kids?
    Now ask yourself, is cutting a part of that dream?
    I didn’t think so.

    So don’t let it be. Keep working on it, like I can see you are doing now. Do it for the future!






    Technique Number 12

    Keep a diary - psychoanalysis

    Again another I’m hesitant to include, but if it may help someone… writing down your feelings (note, diaries are not meant for anyone else to read but yourself!) could help you stop. It could help you identify what feelings precede cutting, and why. Also, if you read it back awhile later, you may be surprised at the magnitude of things that upset you earlier. And if it minimises their effect, and makes you see the grand scheme of things… it may help to decrease your cutting!






    Technique Number 13

    Religion - Psychoanalysis

    No, I’m not suggesting that you take one up. But feelings of dependency/fate, that is, that your life is planned out for you and you are being looked out for could help… Basically my point with this ‘technique’ although it is clearly not a technique, is try to spend some time going through your mind and decide (if you don’t already know) if possible, what your religious convictions are, and what you believe. Again, if nothing more, it will add to your control






    Technique Number 14

    It’s not your fault. – Cognitive Therapy.

    All of this stuff. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.

    No, your still thinking “yeh, but…” “my life, I’m the only one responsible… who else’s fault is it then…” Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it. Listen to me. And try to accept it.

    It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.

    May you believe, genuinely, honestly accept, it’s not your fault.






    Technique Number 15

    Emotional promise/wall. – Cognitive Therapy

    Did you ever decide to yourself that you deserved nothing better than cutting? Did you ever promise yourself that you would cut every day til the day you die? Probably not. But some people do. And if you are one of them, the solution is to try to put yourself back in the emotional state that you were in when you made that promise to yourself, and to make another promise to yourself, to counteract it. That it is ok for you to be happy. And not to cut. And that you want this.






    Technique Number 16

    Genuinely WANT to quit. - psychoanalysis

    Whilst you know that cutting is helping you, motivation to quit will be low, even if you are trying every technique in the book (or on the list!) to quit. Even if it helps, you must see, that it is not effective. Or maybe it got you through for a while. And maybe you’ll be forever grateful to it for that. But you must want out.

    One client I worked with described self-injury as; “a beautiful, amazing club, that she felt honoured to have been a part of. A school of pain, which enrolled her for free, and taught her invaluable life experience. A school which saved her life, for a time, but then wrought its influence over her vulnerable mind, no longer helping her, until she was able to ‘run away.’” And sometimes, she misses is, particularly when in the company of others who still self-injure. But she tries to look back at the ‘club’ as she called it with fond memories. It helped her for a time. But she knew when she didn’t WANT it to be a part of her anymore.






    Technique Number 17

    The 15-minute rule – Behaviourist Approach

    Basically, if you want to self-injure, differ yourself for 15 minutes. Often in that time the feelings and intense emotions which you were experiencing will have faded or diminished, if you can manage to keep yourself occupied for those eternal feeling 15 minutes! That is because the emotions prior to self-injury usually involve arousal from an adrenaline surge. The body cannot possibly keep up this arousal for longer than a few minutes, having a rapid calming influence. Its just that usually this happens alongsides the self-injuring, and so is attributed to that. But actually, the self-injury is not what calms, although it may help. It is the delay.

    Please give it a shot. Very simple. 15-minutes.






    Technique Number 18

    Deal with your problems. - Psychoanalysis.

    “Wherever you go, there you are.”

    What that means is that you cant hide from yourself. Even if you move country, your problems will follow you. Your junk will catch up to you. It will always be with you, whilst it is there. So think it through. Work through it. Actualise it. In the very least, tolerate and accept it as a part of you, and move on.






    Technique Number 19

    Medication – Physiological Approach

    If undertaken MUST be alongsides counselling!!! But if depressed feelings/feelings of anxiety do seem incontrollable, it could be due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, most probably of serotonin. Medication simply regularises this. But to be able to come off medication at some point, the issues underlying the feelings and pain that the anxiety provokes/stems from must be explored.






    Technique Number 20

    Disassociation – Psychoanalysis

    This is where, to get to know yourself, or if you genuinely don’t know why you cut, or if you cannot remember a chunk of your past. You take a pen and you put it to paper, and you keep the pen moving, and you empty your mind, and you don’t think about what you are writing or look down, and if you keep your pen going long enough, theory says that thoughts and feelings that you didn’t even know you had insides of you will start to come out. This can also be done by drawing, although you will probably need an experienced psychotherapist to analyse it with you. Or talking, you could tape yourself, or ‘rant’ to a friend.






    Technique Number 21

    Clear your mind frequently. – Cognitive Therapy

    Sometimes, the turmoil in your mind can seem too loud. Cutting, or pain of other forms, briefly relieves this turmoil. So to avoid you needing to cut, try to actively clear your mind. Write down the things you need to do in the day. Don’t let the train of thoughts rise to panic. Try breathing or relaxation techniques if necessary. Once you start to control those feelings, if your self-injury was being used for that reason, it should decrease as no longer necessary.






    Technique Number 22

    Feel real – Psychoanalysis

    Often self-injury can be a way of connecting the mind back to the body, if you feel so out of control that you are not even fully aware that you are real. If this is a reason that you believe may underlie your self-injury, you need to make yourself ‘feel real.’ Just how, you ask.. By emotion. Crying, anger, panic, misery, sadness, awe, happiness… allow yourself to experience life to the full. Exaggerate your emotions if necessary. If you know you should feel very pleased about something for example, but don’t feel like showing any emotion, exaggerate it. Act as though you were happy. For one of the greatest tricks of the human brain is that it can be fooled by the mind. That means, if you act as though you believe in something, you genuinely will become to do so. So the emotions will become real after a while, and no longer be conscious attempts. And then you will feel real, and so should disassociate ‘feel un-real, unconnected’ less! And so less need for self-injury!






    Technique Number 23 - Take care of yourself!! - physiological approach (i guess)

    "A healthy body is a healthy mind"
    "Take care of the body and the mind will take care of itself." Etc etc

    theres got to be something in those legends!


    Eat well, exercise, get 8 hours sleep a night. Have plenty showers. Even if eating/bathing/playing sport is the last thing you feel like doing. You'd be amazed at how simple and effective this is. It can make you feel loads better. 8 hours sleep. Half an hour dedicated to exercise. Take good care of yourself!!!






    Technique Number 24

    Love yourself. - Psychoanalysis

    No-one else will be able to love you until you love yourself. Accept yourself. Like i said earlier, "wherever you go, there you are." Accept the past, accept qualities in yourself that you are not proud of, and move on.

    For example, you ever heard the passage in the bible "love your neighbour as yourself?" (Not to get onto a religious speel here, but theres some amazing psychology in that.) Love your neighbour AS yourself. Jesus clearly understood that you can't love anyone else until you love yourself. That you must love yourself, to the extent that he wanted you to love everyone else. Until you love yourself, you wont be able to accept love from anyone else. Or accept that you yourself are a lovable person. Love yourself. May you see that you are a beautiful, admirable, strong, brave, courageous, highly intelligent person (that God loves, if you believe.) May you be able to love yourself. And may that help you to deal with those emotions that underlie self-injury.










    I will keep adding to my list.
    I hope its helpful.
    Feel free to pm me anyone, anytime.
    I’m here to help.

    girl friend
    Last edited by girl friend; 01-13-2008 at 08:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member girl friend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England, North
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,668
    Gender
    Female
    What to say to them.


    Getting people to think actively
    Useful for suicide/depression aswell.


    “It sounds to me like you’d like to be out of that pitt?”

    Get them to step outsides their own feelings and defeatedness.

    e.g. ask them what they think someone they very much respect would do in their situation.

    They say “so whats to stop you from taking that first step?”



    Get them to generate things they can look forward to.

    Book them an appointment (if in a situation to do so.) Even if you do not do appointments!



    We are teaching them to trick their own depression.



    Use praise.

    Selective reflection.

    Provoke them to think about problem-solving.
    This could move them past suicidal thought.

    Deconstructive questions (I.e. “how do you feel) are useful in OTHER situations. Here we need Constructive questions.
    “How would ‘suchabody’ solve that?”
    “How did you solve these feelings in the past?”

    USE the ‘How’ questions

    “How can you solve this?”



    Comparison:

    They tend to compare themselves to ridiculous models.
    So don’t compare their functioning to how they used to be/to a well person.

    But to yesterday/last week.

    Show them how much they are improving. What you say can mean the world to people. It can be the difference between life and death.



    Use Surface Empathy – that is, mild empathy. Do not echo their mood!!! (To use complete empathy would be disasterous, you’d both get each other more and more down!!!)



    Paradoxical Reasoning – the basic point here is “don’t let your feelings guide what you do.”

    You know how changeable feelings are.


    The 5 minute rule. Tell them to do the thing they are worried about doing (e.g. if they are worried about an assignment, a conversation, whatever&#8230 for 5 minutes.

    They’ll find it alright!
    Because nothing will ever be as bad as a depressed person imagines it to be!!!!



    IMPORTANT!

    One of the most dangerous times is when they are actually getting better.

    When depressed they may not have actually had the energy to commit suicide. When getting better they suddenly have the energy.


    Reality Check

    If dealing with the attitude: ‘Everything ll be better when I die.” it is ok to challenge it here.

    No it wont be!

    If a child dies before its parents it turns nature on its head.
    It will never return to normality.
    They will never get over it.

    GENTLY challenge this belief here, it is wrong and needs challenging. Challenging them can help.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member girl friend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England, North
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,668
    Gender
    Female
    Technique Number 25 – Retreat.

    Try and disappear from the world when you are experiencing mixed emotions. I don’t mean hide away all the time. Sometimes its best to be around other people, than sitting at home with a razor or knife and thinking. But try to plan out time for you to be alone. To just disappear from the world, and read a favourite book, or watch a video, or write poetry, or think, or do whatever you enjoy doing. Try to allow yourself a good few hours. Without needing to look at your watch. Or your pager. Just to recuperate. It really can help.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member girl friend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England, North
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,668
    Gender
    Female
    Technique Number 26 - Remember

    On good days, try to write down exactly how you feel. What you love about life. Whats been good. Then you can go back and read through it on not-so good days.

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member girl friend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England, North
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,668
    Gender
    Female
    Technique Number 27 - Counting Days

    Take it one day at a time. IF you have been cutting several times a day for a long time for e.g. and you stop for 3 days, thats brilliant! Then you may slip, but don't beat yourself up about it. Aim for 4 days next time perhaps. Write down what seems to be working for you. Counting days is a great technique. Also remember your personal best. And write down/try to remember how it felt to be free of it for those days. Then you know what you've got to aim for next time.

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Age
    32
    Posts
    5
    Gender
    Female
    I use to cut myself, I haven't for quite a few months now. The thing that helped me stop is one night I really scared myself. I was upset and so I cut myself just to help me feel better, except I went deeper than expected and it really freaked me out. It wasn't deep enough to be fatal but I've never done it since. I still think about it though when I get upset though.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member girl friend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England, North
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,668
    Gender
    Female
    I guess the urge to do it never fully leaves.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member girl friend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England, North
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,668
    Gender
    Female
    Stopping Self-Techniques

    Ice Cube Therapy

    Holding ice cubes in hands to feel pain

    Line Therapy

    Drawing lines on one’s body with a red marker

    15-Minute Contract

    Contract (with self or others) to wait 15-minutes before self-injuring
    Utilize pre-made list of diversional and tension-reducing activities
    At end of 15-minutes, praise self
    If impulse/urge persists, new contract
    Call crisis line or other support if believe cannot make the 15-minutes

    Immediate Support

    Telephone crisis lines
    On-line discussion groups

  10. #9
    Platinum Member girl friend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    England, North
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,668
    Gender
    Female
    I really don't like to recommend techniques such as squeezing ice cubes, etc which are still self-injury; its still producing self-inflicted pain for emotional reasons, though it is safer than the usual cutting. Techniques such as dry ice, elastic bands, safety scissors, drawing on self with a red marker pen, beating yourself up through intensive exercise, etc..; they aren't practical and they aren't usually adaptive coping either. They may not actually cause scars, but they are still using pain and non-practical.

    A good technique though is addressing the emotions behind the urge to cut/self-injure. Perhaps try keeping a mood diary, and record the emotions before and after you cut,and in time common themes should emerge, where do these emotions come from? This anger? this self-hate? this pain? Can you trace it back to a particular time or instance? What happened the first time you cut? Once you have addressed the pain that is welling below the surface looking for a way out, you can bury it and move on. Cry. Allow yourself to feel the emotions about the past that you used to shut away, perhaps under the act of ''i need to be the strong one.'' Allow yourself to learn to cry and to learn to handle these emotions. And then the need to self-injure with subdue, and all you will be left with is perhaps an addiction. This alone is easier to beat.


Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •