How Individuals Who Self-Harm Manage Their Own Risk— ‘I Cope Because I Self-Harm, and I Can Cope with my Self-Harm’

Woodley, Samantha and Hodge, Suzanne and Jones, Kerri and Holding, Andrew (2021) How Individuals Who Self-Harm Manage Their Own Risk— ‘I Cope Because I Self-Harm, and I Can Cope with my Self-Harm’. Psychological Reports, 124 (5). pp. 1998-2017. ISSN 0033-2941

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Self-harm is a complex and idiosyncratic behaviour. This article focuses on how those who self-harm manage their own risk. Utilising opportunity sampling, ten members of a self-harm support group were interviewed about how they risk manage their self-harm and the data analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The analysis showed that all participants were actively involved in risk management of their self-harm. Through a process of managing consequences, exercising control in the process, and an awareness of the social context. It is posited that people who self-harm should be viewed as actively engaging with the risks of self-harm whilst it is a coping mechanism, as opposed to passive or ignoring. This understanding can be integrated into current risk management plans within services and invites a more dynamic conversation of self-harm between services users and services. Effective risk management involves good relationships between individuals who self-harm and clinicians, services which promote positive risk taking as opposed to defensive practice, and true collaboration between services and service users.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychological Reports
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Psychological Reports, 124 (5), 2021, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Psychological Reports page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? self-harmself-hurtingrisk managementservice userqualitativepsychology(all)social sciences(all) ??
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Deposited On:
14 Aug 2020 12:40
Last Modified:
08 May 2024 00:14