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

Self-Injury Location: Visible vs Concealed, with Dr. Kathryn Gardner

Episode Summary

Kathryn Gardner, PhD, from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom discusses the significance of where on the body individuals choose to engage in self-cutting behavior and the psychology of self-injury and self-harm location.

Episode Notes

Does it matter where on the body someone cuts, whether on typically more visible sites such as the forearm and wrist, or in typically more concealed areas, such as the upper arm and torso? Is there a relationship between where someone cuts on their body and their likelihood of continuing to engage in the behavior? In this episode, Dr. Gardner discusses her research on the psychology of self-injury location and where on the body one chooses to self-injure as well as intrapersonal (emotional) reasons and interpersonal (social) reasons for engaging in self-injury and self-harm.

Learn more about Dr. Gardner and her work at, and follow her on Twitter @KathrynJGardner. Below are links to some of her research referenced in this episode: 

  1. Gardner, K. J., Bickley, H., Turnbull, P., Kapur, N., Taylor, P., & Clements, C. (2020). The significance of site of cut in self-harm in young people. Journal of Affective Disorders, 266, 603-609.
  2. Gardner, K. J., Paul, E., Selby, E. A., Klonsky, E. D., Mars, B. (2021). Intrapersonal and interpersonal functions as pathways to future self-harm repetition and suicide attempts. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 688472. 

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The Psychology of Self-Injury podcast has been rated #5 by Feedspot in their "Best 20 Clinical Psychology Podcasts" and by Welp Magazine in their "20 Best Injury Podcasts."