These three concepts…

This is my introduction to what I have learned, over the past 30 years, from listening to people who live with Self-Directed Violence (SDV).  I have taught classes on this topic that have lasted two days or more, and they are a detailed exploration of the following three points.  These are the ground upon which understanding and responding to people who live with self-injury, ourselves and others, stands. And yes, it is this simple:

There is always a reason that people self-injure.

That reason is rooted in the experience of trauma, often in childhood.

Taking the healing journey from trauma is taking the path to healing self-injury; they are not separate.

SDV serves a purpose for people or they wouldn’t do it.  People who no longer have that need no longer self-injure.  People who self-harm are neither crazy nor addicted.  They are survivors.  Self-injury is most often a tool of survival regardless of how destructive it may appear.  Healing is finding life beyond survival.  Although almost always a very arduous journey, it brings relief and comfort.  SDV becomes no longer necessary.  People often discover that life is more joyous than they could have imagined.  Pretty cool.




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