Self-harm is when someone hurts themselves on purpose, usually as a way of coping with difficult emotions. It often begins when a person feels overwhelmed with upsetting thoughts and feelings. Harming themselves physically can feel like a release, almost giving them a sense of relief from the emotional pain they’re feeling.

This relief is only temporary though and is often followed by feelings of guilt and even shame. As the emotional pain is still present, the person may continue to rely on self-harming in an attempt to cope, continuing the cycle.

For some, there is a particular event or experience that triggers them to start hurting themselves. These may include:

  • being bullied
  • feeling overwhelmed with school work
  • losing a loved one
  • the end of a relationship
  • losing a job
  • having an illness (mental or physical)
  • feeling stressed
  • having a poor sense of self-worth
  • feeling confused about sexuality
  • experiencing abuse (sexual, physical or emotional)
  • having difficulties at home

For others, there seems to be no direct cause. If you self-harm but don’t know why, you are not alone and you can still reach out for support.

There may be certain situations or times that make self-harm more likely, for example after drinking alcohol or at night time. Every person experiences self-harm differently and one person’s reasons will be different to another person’s.

At Castle Counselling Services we can offer you a safe, secure, confidential and non-judgemental space that will enable you to explore your self-harm. This space will allow you to talk about your feelings in depth. As integrative counsellors our practitioners may use psychodynamic therapy concepts and cognitive behavioural therapy methods of change to assist you in progressing forward and breaking this cycle of self-harm.

Who can help you?

Counselling services in the North Coast Causeway area of Northern Ireland, we can offer you an initial telephone consultation for 15/20 minutes free of charge for you to discuss the reason you are seeking counselling.