Self-Injury & Shame

self-injury blog(Photocredit: Chronicle Live)
Before I get into the topic of self-injury, I want to state that this blog is based on current research and my experiences of working with teens who self-injure. This blog does not replace the need for help by a trusted professional. If you are looking for professional help please check my resource page linked here: .
March 1st marked the National Self-Injury Day and I wanted to take some time to share my perspective with you on this topic. Self-injury is a complicated and shaming topic for many of the teens that I work with. To understand this, we must first understand what shame really is. Shame, defined by Dr. Brené Brown, is “ the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging”. Also, a simpler way to discuss shame is the fear of disconnection. Shame has shown up in every case of self-injury that I have dealt with over the past 20 years in my career. Self-injury, in many cases, is rooted in shame because, ultimately, it’s about the most powerful feeling a teen can feel: rejection. According to Brown’s research, one of the first steps in recognizing shame is finding out what your triggers are and what messages you receive around expectations. Austin Therapy for Girls not only offers groups focused on Dr. Brown’s work, but also is now doing another women’s intensive weekend for adult women with busy schedules.

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