Julia Bellerby
Counselling, Psychotherapy, Coaching and Counsellor supervision
Grad. Dip Counselling, Cert. Counsellor Supervision, Dip. Coaching
Mobile: 07939 255425  |  Email: Click here

Quick Contact

Call me on 07939 255425 or click here to contact me by email.

Counselling for Self Harm

Unless you’ve experienced what it’s like to want to harm yourself, it's very difficult to understand why you would hurt yourself. Surely we are programmed to avoid pain? Pain is a warning that something is wrong; fear of it keeps us from taking dangerous risks. The only time we might voluntarily chose pain is for greater good: childbirth, dentist, injections, operations. Why would anyone want to inflict it upon themselves?

Self-harm is a complicated and potentially very serious psychological disorder. It may take the form of cutting or scraping the skin with a knife, razor blade or scissors. Burning the skin or physically damaging behaviour such as punching a wall or causing bruising to yourself are also acts of self-harm.

Although cutting yourself seems such a destructive thing to do, it’s important to realise that the self-harmer is getting some relief from extreme mental anguish when they inflict physical pain on themselves. Acts of self-harm usually follow a build-up of pressure – pressure from unbearably strong feelings which don’t seem able to be resolved. The pain helps to reduce the emotional turmoil, providing an effective distraction. The self-harmer may feel in a trance as they cut themselves, with no thoughts for the consequences of what they’re doing.

If you’ve started self-harming or have maybe been doing it for some time, it’s very important to get some help. This could be via a GP, through counselling or by contacting a helpline. Instead of turning your anger in on yourself, you need to find safe and effective ways to express and deal with difficult feelings.

Counselling can help by starting to unravel what lies behind the self-harm. It’s vital that the person seeking help feels the counsellor genuinely wants to help them to get the bottom of their difficulties, rather than simply trying to encourage them to stop. A good counsellor will help their client to start talking about things that may be buried very deep. Once feelings are being discussed honestly and openly, there will be less need to seek relief from them in such a destructive way.


Julia Bellerby - Counselling, Psychotherapy, Coaching and Counsellor Supervision in York, and worldwide by phone, skype or online

Julia Bellerby
Grad. Dip. Counselling, Cert. Counsellor Supervision, Dip. Coaching, BACP Accredited
Contact me on 07939 255425 or click here to contact me by email.