Advice on telling my therapist about self-harm

M

Mystorymatters1

Has anyone had the experience of self harming in the places you were molested and injuring yourself? I have to go to the doctors its that bad and i want to tell my therapist what im doing but im scared she will judge me.

Has anyone else told there therapist? How did you do it/their responce?
 
I like your name, and you're right, your story does matter. I think you should just say it exactly like that to your T. And hopefully you don't have to go, that it will heal, but if so you'll want help in place (says the person who never goes- yes I know I'm a hypocrit). But I'm guessing you're young enough to benefit, and why not turn your life around when it's more possible? You can do it. I doubt she'll judge it, and frankly that or some version of it is not that uncommon. Like having a bath in bleach. It's not about the bleach, but rather how bad you feel and what you feel about what's been done to you.

Welcome to you. 🤗 I'm sorry you've gone through what you have. 😢
 

Ellierose2x

Policy Enforcement
Has anyone had the experience of self harming in the places you were molested and injuring yourself? I have to go to the doctors its that bad and i want to tell my therapist what im doing but im scared she will judge me.

Has anyone else told there therapist? How did you do it/their responce?
I injure myself, I writ what I wanted to say on a note due to not being brave enough to talk about the problem I was going to tell them about. Do you think you can talk to them? so sorry about what you have gone through
 

Sideways

Moderator
Has anyone else told there therapist? How did you do it/their responce?
I've gone a couple of different ways over the course of my treatment.

Ts who I trusted, I wrote it down as best I could.

Ts who I didn't have an established relationship with (that's occurred a few times when I've been hospitalised), I haven't "told" them explicitly, so much as told them, "I've been self-harming" (I feel reasonably okay doing that - it's shame territory for me, but I know they deal with it every day of the week), and passed on relevant medical treatment information (eg. "I've been SHing, I was put on a standard antibiotic for UTIs, but it didn't work, so they had to try a different one and that seems to be working").

Both had the outcome I needed - they helped me deal with the issue. Both required me to confront the shame I was feeling. Both ultimately led to me realising this wasn't even remotely strange behaviour for someone with a history of sexual trauma.

Most importantly, both strategies ultimately led to me getting help dealing with my distress in a less re-traumatising way.

Hope something there helps.
 

Sues

MyPTSD Pro
Your therapist will not judge you, and if they do, then you need to leave immediately and find a new therapist. What you're describing is not uncommon for survivors, and your therapist has most likely dealt with it before. You don't have to go into any more detail than what you wrote here when you tell your therapist. They will recognize that it's a coping mechanism and help you. I know it's scary to tell anyone. But like Ellierose2x said, you can write it down and either read it, or just hand it to your therapist and let them read it. I've done both.
 

Starfire

Confident
You could write it down in letter or email form. Sometimes, at least the first time, it's easier than speaking. You get to choose the words and how much or little you disclose. And for me, stay on point.
Not chicken out!

I've discovered there is hardly anything I can possibly tell my T that he hasn't heard before. Probably many times. It's me telling, not him hearing that is the problem. A couple times my telling was met with "I've been waiting for you to tell me".
Take care of yourself.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
You could write it down in letter or email form. Sometimes, at least the first time, it's easier than speaking. You get to choose the words and how much or little you disclose. And for me, stay on point.
Not chicken out!
Usually its Executive Dysfunction and dissociating that get in the way, its not chickening out.

It doesn't matter what I tell my therapist. My T has never laughed at me or discounted anything I said. All we (T and me) need to find is a reason I feel like I do. Can't say that finding the why for what hurts is painless but it gets better as you work through it.

There are no secrets I keep from my T. Ever. It's all on the table once the door closes. I don't want to be like this forever. If there is better, my best chance of finding it is to give my T all the information I can to work with. That means trusting my T implicitly.
 
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Missycat

MyPTSD Pro
I completely trust my T and have shared so much personal information and i still struggled to share about the self harming and in particular where i hurt myself on my ‘private parts’. We had an agreement that i could email when i struggled to talk and she would then ask me about it when we met in session ( if i wanted to talk about it). I always found it easier that she asked questions and i answered - a bit like i was being given permission to discuss ( linked to my abuse). I remember my T telling me that there was nothing i could say that would change our working relationship or how she valued me as an individual/person. Whilst it was hard i did feel a sense of relief that i had shared .
 
M

Mystorymatters1

I completely trust my T and have shared so much personal information and i still struggled to share about the self harming and in particular where i hurt myself on my ‘private parts’. We had an agreement that i could email when i struggled to talk and she would then ask me about it when we met in session ( if i wanted to talk about it). I always found it easier that she asked questions and i answered - a bit like i was being given permission to discuss ( linked to my abuse). I remember my T telling me that there was nothing i could say that would change our working relationship or how she valued me as an individual/person. Whilst it was hard i did feel a sense of relief that i had shared .
I told her and she said i was doing it so she would talk to me and then she terminated therapy over email.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I told her and she said i was doing it so she would talk to me and then she terminated therapy over email.
...in every class there is a person with the best grades and one with the worst. Problem is they all get the same certificate to hang on the wall.

Last note: Ending therapy by email? If your T couldn't end it face to face then they are not a professional. You will be better off elsewhere.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I told her and she said i was doing it so she would talk to me and then she terminated therapy over email.
Had she previously told you that threatening to harm yourself would be the end of the therapeutic relationship?

It's possible we're getting the whole story, but I'm guessing, not.
in every class there is a person with the best grades and one with the worst. Problem is they all get the same certificate to hang on the wall.
This is also true.

In some structured therapies for Borderline Personality Disorder, there is a contract signed at the onset of treatment that states that threatening self-harm will result in termination of therapy. The therapist will provide endless amounts of support if the client is resisting these urges, needs help damaging them, etc. But if the message is "I'm going to cut myself if you don't do something to help me", then that's going to be the end of the relationship.

I'm not saying that's the OP's situation - but I am saying, we don't know that it isn't.
 
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