Helping Clients Heal From Self-Harm: A DBT Approach for Teens

Ondemand Courses

159,00  IVA inclusa

Course active from 14/04/2023

Sheri Van Dijk  

  • 8 training hours
  • Access on mobile device
  •  Certificate of attendance

215 total views

Advanced training course with Sheri Van Dijk to learn the DBT – Dialectical Behavioral Therapy approach with adolescents who engage in self-harm behavior


Self-harm, or non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is most common among adolescents and young adults. Although this behavior typically decreases in late adolescence, it is one of the strongest antecedents of suicide in youth; and those who engage in repetitive NSSI seem to be at high risk for continuing to use dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies, even after discontinuing NSSI.

People engage in self-harm for a wide array of reasons (including a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD), but usually this involves an inability to manage emotions in some way, making Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) an ideal treatment for this population.

While most mental health clinicians will encounter NSSI at some point, there is still a paucity of research about this behavior and why it happens; and education programs rarely teach about this behavior and how to work with clients who are engaging in it. This workshop will help you understand NSSI, factors to consider when assessing and working with clients, and will take a DBT approach to helping clients eliminate this behavior.


Participants will learn:

  • How to define Non-suicidal Self-Injury and some of the statistics related to this
  • Tools to help you not freak out when you find out your client is self-harming
  • Reasons teens self-harm and ways to help yourself, your client, and their family understand the behavior
  • How to effectively assess for self-harm and tools to help improve commitment to treatment, building rapport and trust
  • Overview of some DBT skills and strategies to work toward eliminating self-harming behaviors




Introduction to Non-Suicidal Self-Injury

  • Defining NSSI; what do we know about it?
  • Why do people self-harm?
  • The statistics
  • Risk- and protective-factors
  • What to do when you discover your client is self-harming
  • How to effectively assess for NSSI

Conceptualizing NSSI

  • Introduction to the Experiential Avoidance Model (EAM) and the DBT Biosocial Theory, emphasizing the role of emotion dysregulation in NSSI

DBT Strategies

  • The importance of validation: what it is, how to do it
  • Thoroughly analyzing self-harming behavior with the Behavioral Analysis
  • Monitoring NSSI with the Diary Card
  • Getting Commitment through use of dialectical strategies

Overview of treating NSSI from a DBT-informed perspective

  • Distress Tolerance Skills
  • F-TIP skills to regulate emotions quickly
  • Pros and Cons
  • Dialectical Abstinence
  • Alternate Rebellion
  • Distracting & self-soothing skills
  • Urge Management

The role of Mindfulness in eliminating NSSI

  • Accessing Wise Mind
  • Nonjudgmental Stance

Emotion Regulation Skills

  • Radical Acceptance
  • Willingness
  • Self-validation
  • Opposite to Emotion Action
  • Cope Ahead

How Caregivers can help

  • Suggestions for skills commonly helpful for caregivers of youth who are engaging in NSSI


Method of use

On-demand courses consist of recorded video lessons. Once purchased, you will find it available in your Reserved Area and you can follow it as many times as you like for 12 months from the date of purchase. From desktop, tablet, smartphone.


Sheri Van Dijk

Sheri Van Dijk

Sheri Van Dijk, MSW, RSW, has advanced degrees from York University and the University of Toronto and has been working in the mental health field since 2000. Her extensive experience...
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159,00  IVA inclusa

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