The Psychology of Self-Injury: Exploring Self-Harm & Mental Health

Disclosures of Self-Injury, with Dr. Brooke Ammerman

Episode Summary

Brooke Ammerman, PhD, from the University of Notre Dame provides insight into how individuals who self-injure come to decide to disclose their self-injury and self-harm and suggests helpful ways to respond to self-injury disclosures.

Episode Notes

What are some common reasons people give for choosing to disclose their self-injury? How do positive and negative reactions affect someone’s willingness to disclose their self-injury or self-harm in the future and their likelihood of discontinuing their self-injury? In this episode, Dr. Ammerman shares findings from her research in which individuals who self-injure share their answers to these questions. She also explains why only providing "tangible aid" such as offering to help someone who self-injures get medical help or referring them to a mental health professional may not always be all that helpful.

Learn more about Dr. Ammerman and her work in the Affect, Suicide, Self-Injury, and Social Triggers (ASSIST) Lab at Below are links to some of her research referenced in this episode:

The development of a measure to assess social reactions to self-injury disclosure

How should we respond to non-suicidal self-injury disclosures?: An examination of perceived reactions to disclosure, depression, and suicide risk

Characterizing the choice to disclose nonsuicidal self‐injury

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