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Self-Harm in Adolescence

Iva Buresová

The author discusses the subject of self-harm in adolescence, considering the historical context of the development of its classification system. She presents an overview of theoretical fundamentals as well as models of behavior derived from them. Within the context of current research studies, she describes its prevalence, etiology, and comorbidity. The author specifies the basic protective and risk factors as well as all important influences. She presents the diagnostic tools currently used in research and clinical practice including the description of key approaches to prevention, therapy and treatment. This book includes the results of a unique research study mapping the lexical trace of the term self-harm in adolescents and the differences in perception of this term among those without own practice, with mediation and with personal, often repeated experience.
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6 Preventive Strategy and Therapeutic Approaches


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6   Preventive Strategy and Therapeutic Approaches

Self-harm is common in adolescence, but most young people who self-harm do not seek professional help – between a third and one half of adolescents who self-harm do not seek help for this behaviour (Rowe et al., 2014). Of those who seek help, results showed adolescents primarily turned to friends (Hrubá, Klimusová & Burešová, 2012) and family for support, or they ask a pedagogue for help or advice. Considering these facts, it is necessary to show heightened attention to the occurrence of self-harm in adolescence both at home and in schools (Ougrin & Zundel, 2009; Miller & Brock, 2010), and a broad range of helping professionals should be informed about its symptoms – school advisers, psychologists, etopedists, pedagogues, etc.

Lieberman (2004) in his theoretical study lists some typical traits, which can lead to the suspicion of self-harm in an individual:

6.1   Preventive Strategies Focused on Self-Harm in Adolescence

With regard to multifactorial aetiology of self-harm and the number of risk factors, which are projected with various levels of intensity into its highly individual image in each person, it is necessary to penetrate into the background of this highly risky behaviour and subsequently approach its prevention and treatment in as complex way as possible. Primary and secondary prevention should therefore concentrate not only on raising public awareness of the symptoms and ← 85 | 86 → consequences of such behaviour, but also on the support of mental...

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