Working with people who self-injure

Does changing beliefs about the self change pain endurance in people who self-injure? (Study)

In a very interesting preliminary study, researchers, Jill M. Hooley and Sarah A. St. Germain (Department of Psychology, Harvard University) explored the question, does changing beliefs about the self change pain endurance in people who self-injure (Hooley & St. Germain, 2014)? In a nutshell, the results of this study suggested the answer can be yes.

Read more ›

in Articles,Self-Injury,Working with people who self-injure

The Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery: New Name, New Website, Same Great Resource!

The Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery (formerly The Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behaviors) launched their great new name this month along with a redesigned website that is amazing! This is an excellent resource for learning about self-injury, finding links to other resources, and for the on-going research the team conducts in the field. Check it out by clicking here.

My congratulations and appreciation to the CRPSIR team!

in Announcements and Reminders,External Resources,Self-Injury,Working with people who self-injure

Tattoos on the Heart and other reflections

Recently, I read the book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle (2010, Free Press). I do not remember how I learned of the book (I am thinking it may have been a library search) but for whichever way it came across my path, I’m glad that it did.

Gregory’s writing is filled with insights I could spend the next decade (if not the rest of my life) reflecting on and trying to live by and inspire. He is an ordained Jesuit Priest who worked for 20 years in the Boyle Heights of Los Angeles: Read more ›

in Articles,Compassion,Counselling Reflections & Skills,External Resources,Working with people who self-injure

Heartfulness, Self-Compassion, Open-Heartedness

It’s been a while since I’ve written. The mid and late fall were taken up with seeing clients and with supervision meetings–preparing for what did end up being my final exam to complete my registration for autonomous practice with the College of Psychologists here in Ontario. (Note: I’ve passed. I’m done!) Tragically, a week later I experienced a heart-breaking loss in my life. Then it was the holidays. I’m unfolding from all of this and am both getting back to routines, as well as consciously and deliberately working to create some new ones.

Today I would like to share a quote from a wonderful little book I read in the fall by Jon Kabat-Zinn called Arriving at Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness. Read more ›

in Articles,External Resources,Mindfulness,Self-Compassion,Working with people who self-injure

The quality and skill of honouring

He accepted–really accepted whole-heartedly–that he was angry and jealous, that he resisted and struggled, and that he was afraid. He accepted that he was also precious beyond measure–wise and foolish, rich and poor, and totally unfathomable. He felt so much gratitude that in the total darkness he stood up, walked toward the snake [a source of great fear], and bowed.  
–Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart, p. 5; [square bracket text added by Tracy]

You put your whole self in.
You put your whole self out.
You put your whole self in….
That’s what it’s all about.
— Lyrics from The Hokey Pokey

I believe concepts of self-compassion and emotion regulation are closely related. One aspect that can be found in both is the intention and action of honouring. Read more ›

in Articles,Self-Compassion,Working with Emotion,Working with people who self-injure

Learning loveliness

…..sometimes it is necessary

          to reteach a thing its loveliness…
                -Galway Kinnell

Do you know your loveliness?

Some people do, some people don’t, some people need to learn about it, or to find a way to relearn or to reconnect.

Sometimes, this is the heart of helping work: to help reteach a thing–another human being–its loveliness. Read more ›

in Articles,Working with people who self-injure