“Do I have to scream for you to hear me, Do I have to bleed for you to see me.


I’ve worked with enough individuals who self-injury to know that it’s not a cry for attention or an attempt at suicide but rather a way to provide immediate relief from feelings of emotional turmoil. There is a kind of opiate-like endorphin that is released at the moment of tissue damage. Self-injury becomes a way to regain some emotional balance.

Most self-injurious behaviors are performed by adolescents who have not developed the necessary tools to regulate their emotions. These individuals are yearning to be heard and are seeking validation. When a person is emotionally dysregulated and in need of help, offering a solution to his or her problem before helping them to see that their emotional state is real and important can be a recipe for disaster; it skips the critical step of validating their emotional experience. Without validation, they come to believe that their emotions are exaggerated or untrustworthy, robbing them of the important information the emotions are sending.

By promoting a safe, non-judgmental environment I will help teach specific skills and new behaviors that will help to modulate and/or change painful emotions resulting in a reduction in overall distress and depression and improved ability to regulate emotions and functioning in all domains of life.