“We must understand that in the trauma survivor, self injury is functional. It always performs some deep, underlying function. Most generally, it’s an attempt to ward off worse harm.”– David Calof
A client’s self mutilating behavior can be extremely challenging for the therapist. This video series discusses the range of traumatic causes of self mutilation, and the forms that it takes, as well as interventions that can provide more adaptive responses. Child abuse survivors describe their experiences of self mutilation, and their steps toward recovery. Released 1994.
Self Injury I: Genesis, Forms, and Functions
- How Self Injury Begins
- Role of Childhood Abuse
- Self Injury in Prisons and Among Men
- Varieties of Self Injury
- Motivations and Functions
- Recapitulation of Early Trauma
- Handling Rage and Other Affects
- Other Motivations
- Compulsion and Shame
Number of Minutes: 46
About the Presenters
David Calof is clinical consultant to the Adult Therapy Service and Psychological Trauma Center of the Seattle Mental Health Institute. He is a frequent presenter before such groups as the American Family Therapy Association, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and the Eastern Regional Conference of the International Sociaty for the Study of Dissociation.
Dusty Miller, EdD, is Director of Clinical Mentoring, Department of Clinical Psychology at Antioch/New England Graduate School, as well as Clinical Supervisor of the Internship Program, Brattleboro Family Institute. She lectures frequently on women who self-harm, and also maintains a private practice. Dr. Miller is the author of Women Who Hurt Themselves, published by Basic Books in 1994.
John N. Briere, PhD is on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Souther California School of Medicine. Dr,. Briere speaks and consu.lts extensively on the topics of child abuse, victims of violence, and port-traumatic stress. He is the author of Child Abuse Trauma: Theory and Treatment of the Lasting Effects, Sage Publications, 1992.
The Trainer’s Guide
The 62-page trainer’s guide includes objectives, reproducible outlines for note-taking, review and discussion questions, a resource list, and book excerpts, described below.
Excerpts from David Calof’s book, Chronic Self Injury & Self Mutilation in Adult Survivors of Incest and Childhood Sexual Abuse: Etiology, Assessment and Intervention, include the following:
Nosology, Contextual and Cultural Considerations
Sources, Motivations and Functions
Countertransference, Iatrogenesis and Client Self-Injury
Guidelines for Intervention