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HEAL - Healthy Emotional Actions for Life, Dominion Hospital's Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Track

Self-injurious behavior occurs when individuals cause physical harm to themselves. Self-injury may take many forms, but often is done to overcome feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, depression or anger. While occasional suicidal thoughts may be present, self-injury is generally done without suicidal intention. You should always take self-injury seriously and seek help for the behavior.

Your Best Choice to Address Self-Injurious Behavior

At Dominion Hospital, you’ll find the only program in the Northern Virginia and metropolitan Washington, D.C. region specifically tailored for those who harm themselves. Beyond our standard care plan, our Self-Injurious Behavior (SIB) program adds a set of physician-ordered group sessions to help participants focus on underlying issues and develop positive coping skills, rather than the act of self-injury.

Dominion Hospital’s Self-Injurious Behavior Program of Care

We work with individuals and families—with permission—to help everyone understand the diagnosis and develop a personalized plan tailored specifically to provide care in the least restrictive environment possible. Program components include:

  • Initial assessment – Determines how the person feels about the behavior and what type of motivation exists to end the self-injury
  • Psychoeducation – Provides information about causes and effects of self-injurious behavior to expand understanding of the condition, reduce feelings of helplessness and increase opportunities for better self-care
  • Psychotherapy – Employs professional treatment methods to enhance a sense of well-being
  • Expressive therapy groups – Incorporate art, dance/movement, music and recreation activities to help address key emotional, behavioral or mental health issues that may not be accessible through words
  • Body awareness groups – Offers information and activities intended to help participants become more comfortable in their own bodies and view them positively

By completing the program, participants are better:

  • Able to identify underlying emotions behind their behavior
  • Educated about ways to cope with their emotions more positively
  • Prepared to handle possible obstacles as they continue treatment

Our unique approach successfully helps participants face—and relinquish—harmful behavioral responses to given situations while building more productive skills to cope with life’s challenges.

Learn more about school refusal as a potential symptom of deeper mental health issues in children and adolescents.

Explore other Dominion Hospital mental health programs for:

Review a range of mental health topics, including self-injurious behavior, and special information about child and teen health issues in our online Health Library.