What Are the Different Types of Self-Mutilation Treatment?

Nick Mann
Nick Mann

Self-mutilation treatment deals with developing effective coping strategies for individuals struggling with cutting tendencies. In addition, treatment is designed to help patients work through any underlying issues responsible for their unhappiness or depression. Treatments can basically be broken down into four methods which include self-help books, one-on-one therapy, group therapy and medication. Sometimes one self-mutilation treatment works, while other times a combination of two or more needs to be used.

Often the first type of treatment used is a self-help book. These are sometimes effective for individuals engaging only in mild self-mutilation, but are often ineffective on more extreme cases. In addition, it's usually necessary for the person to truly want to change the cutting behavior for this treatment to be successful. Nonetheless, self-help books can provide an inexpensive starting place for many people.

Another type of self-mutilation treatment that can bring about positive results is one-on-one therapy. Many times the perspective of a professional therapist can help self injurers to gain insight into their harmful behaviors. As a result, many individuals will be able to take the first steps to clarify their thinking and find other ways of dealing with issues. This technique is typically geared toward people engaging in moderate to severe cutting, who are a considerable risk to themselves. Throughout treatment, therapists may borrow from a few types of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral and psycho-dynamic, depending on the needs of each person.

Group therapy is a form of self-mutilation treatment that involves multiple self injurers sharing their experiences. Usually a therapist or mental health professional will guide the therapy session and encourage everyone to contribute. Sometimes this can be an effective method of treatment because individuals can confide in the group, where everyone has been through similar scenarios. Often the connections made with others can quickly reduce each person's urge to harm themselves. The only downside of group therapy is that shy people or those hesitant to open up might not be comfortable disclosing such personal information to others.

Medication is another treatment that some self injurers can benefit from. Although there are no prescribed medications directly for cutting, there are several that can alleviate the depressive symptoms associated with it. Usually an anti-depressant or drug for obsessive compulsive disorder will be used in an attempt to ease the negative thought processes. This is likely to bring about clearer, happier thoughts. In order to obtain medication, the individual will need to meet with a mental health professional.

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