Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

The Overlooked Role of Self-injury Scars: Commentary and Suggestions for Clinical Practice

Lewis, Stephen P. PhD

Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: January 2016 - Volume 204 - Issue 1 - p 33–35
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000436
Commentary

Abstract: Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) has emerged as a significant mental health concern over the past several years. Accordingly, it is imperative that mental health professionals be able to draw upon and use approaches that meet the needs of those who report NSSI enactment. Notwithstanding the utility inherent in published recommendations for NSSI assessment and intervention, the aspect of NSSI scarring and its potential impact on those who have self-injured seems to be largely overlooked. Indeed, there is emerging evidence that people’s perceptions of their NSSI scars may thwart NSSI recovery. This commentary highlights what is currently known about NSSI scarring and its potential impact on individuals who have self-injured. From here, and based on the state of evidence in this nascent area, tentative albeit practical suggestions for assessment and intervention are presented.

Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Send reprint requests to Stephen P. Lewis, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1. E-mail: stephen.lewis@uoguelph.ca.

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.