What is Self-Harm?

Self-harm involves deliberately inflicting pain upon oneself without the intention of suicide. While it may not necessarily be linked to suicidal thoughts, prolonged self-harm can increase the risk of suicide. Common behaviors include cutting, burning, excessive scratching, head-banging, and hair-pulling. Often, self-harm is a response to severe emotional pain and an inability to cope with such distress. Sometimes, individuals engage in self-harm to feel something when they experience feelings of numbness or disconnection. It can also stem from feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, serving as a form of self-punishment or a way to express pain.

How do we help teens who are committing Self-Harm?

Our treatment approach focuses on understanding why an adolescent may resort to self-harm, identifying triggers, and teaching healthier coping mechanisms. Therapy helps adolescents develop skills to manage emotional distress positively and addresses underlying issues contributing to self-harm. Family therapy is also integral, improving communication within the family, enhancing dynamics, and assisting in creating a supportive environment by limiting access to means of self-harm.

Overcoming difficulties in Self-Harm treatment

Treating self-harm presents significant challenges due to its serious and dangerous nature. Initial treatment always involves safety planning to prevent physical harm. Self-harm can be a difficult and often misunderstood topic, making it hard to discuss. However, establishing healthy, trusting relationships is essential for recovery and overcoming the challenges associated with self-harm.

Benefits of healing from Self-Harm

Self-harm is often a maladaptive strategy to manage distress or situations that feel unbearable. Therefore, treatment for self-harm involves learning and practicing healthier ways of coping with different feelings and situations. Through treatment, individuals gain a greater sense of self-efficacy and develop increased self-awareness. These serve as foundations for continuing progress towards their goals and improving their relationships.

Therapeutic modalities used for Self-Harm

At Antelope Recovery, our team of experienced professionals utilizes numerous therapeutic modalities to aid your teen’s journey to health and happiness. Explore some of the modalities used below.

A Glance at Our Intensive Care for Self-Harm

Monthly Case Consultations

Monthly review sessions provide an opportunity to zoom out and discuss the success of your treatment plan. Are we meeting our goals? Can we drop sessions or add some? During these sessions we check-in and further customize our approach.

Ongoing Virtual Support

Our treatment team is available to you and your teen for ongoing virtual support between treatment sessions. We encourage the continuous practice of learned skills and provide assistance when challenges arise, ensuring consistent progress.

Initial Assessment

To ensure our treatment is effective and addresses the needs of the whole family, we start with a comprehensive assessment of your teen and family that lays the foundation for successful treatment.

Parent Support

This program isn’t just for your teen — we want to ensure that you have the support and skills for the journey ahead, too. We offer a parenting program and parent coaching as needed, ensuring you have the resources and skills to navigate the recovery journey alongside your teen.

Custom Treatment Plans

Our treatment plans are highly individualized, taking into consideration the specific needs, challenges, and treatment goals of each family.

Interdisciplinary Care Coordination

By coordinating with the entire care team – including psychiatrists, school counselors, probation officers, and pediatricians – we ensure that everyone in your circle of support is on the same page, and taking coordinated efforts forward.

Learn More About Our Virtual IOP Program in Colorado

Our IOP lasts between 4-12 weeks and includes 3-20 hours of care a week, depending on what is needed for your teen to build the foundation necessary for lasting recovery. Treatment plans are completely customized to your teen’s needs. 

Your Family’s Recovery Roadmap

  1. Schedule a free consultation to kickstart your teen’s recovery and create a personalized action plan.
  2. Our team at Antelope Recovery takes the reins, crafting the perfect recovery plan for your teen. 
  3. Work the program through to completion! We offer continued post-treatment support through our alumni and services network. 

Invest in the Best Care for Your Teen

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Personalized Care

We customize your teenager’s treatment plan and weekly schedule to ensure they are on the most effective path to recovery.

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Home-Based Recovery

Our virtual IOP allows teens to practice therapeutic skills in the comfort of their own homes, integrating healing into their daily lives.

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Experienced Providers

Our team brings years of expertise and understanding to every therapy session or group, ensuring your teen receives top-tier care.

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Continuous Improvement

We’re pioneers in the field of teen mental health, using data to drive innovation and enhance services for our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Underdeveloped emotional regulation abilities contribute to the risk of self-harm in adolescents, as do psychological factors such as lack of belonging, social isolation, low self-esteem, perceiving oneself as a burden, hopelessness, perfectionism, and family dysfunction.

  • Treating self-harm in adolescents requires a specialized approach that considers their developmental stage, emotional maturity, and environmental influences. Educating the family on how to support the adolescent is crucial, as is creating a safe and open environment that encourages the teen to express their feelings and challenges without fear of judgment.
    The primary difference in treatment of self-harm in adolescents is the greater involvement of family members in treatment. In family therapy sessions, the adolescent and caregivers work on improving communication, family cohesion, attachment, and support to reduce the risk of self-harm. In individual sessions, cognitive behavioral techniques or dialectical behavioral skills are used to teach the adolescent more positive and healthier ways of managing their emotions.

  • If you are self-harming, it’s important to recognize that reaching out for help is a strong and brave step. Please consider talking to someone you trust, like a family member, friend, or counselor, who can support you. Seeking professional help is also crucial; a mental health professional can offer guidance and strategies to cope with the emotions that lead to self-harm. Remember, you are not alone, and there are people who can help you work through this.

  • If the self-harming behavior has resulted in severe physical injury or poses any risk of life-threatening harm, you should immediately take your teen to the emergency room. In non-emergency situations, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider who specializes in adolescent health and mental well-being.

  • Self-harm is relatively common among adolescents and is often used as a coping mechanism to handle emotional pain or stress. The exact prevalence varies, but it is crucial to approach it with seriousness and empathy.

  • Your teen does not need to have a formal diagnosis to be admitted to Antelope Recovery’s program. We understand that mental health issues can be complex and sometimes unclear. As part of our intake process, our professional therapists will conduct a thorough assessment to understand your teen’s unique situation, needs, and challenges. This evaluation helps us determine if our program is the right fit and how we can best support your teenager. Our goal is to provide care that meets your family’s specific needs, regardless of a prior diagnosis.

  • Virtual mental health care has proven to be highly effective for teens. In addition to efficacy, virtual care offers increased accessibility, flexibility, and comfort — allowing teens in any part of Colorado to access intensive outpatient services.

    Our therapists are skilled in utilizing virtual platforms to create engaging and therapeutic connections, and our virtual intensive program emphasizes integrating healing into everyday life. We also provide a user-friendly dashboard that allows you to easily navigate your teen’s care and access information on payments, treatment notes, and more.

  • The duration of treatment at Antelope Recovery is tailored to the individual needs and progress of each teen. Typically, our IOP lasts between 4 to 12 weeks and OP lasts anywhere from 1 to 12 months.

    Depending on your teen’s unique needs, they can spend anywhere between three to five hours a day in sessions and other structured activities. Whether short-term or long-term, our treatment’s length is aimed at supporting meaningful, lasting change, and we remain committed to providing ongoing support for as long as it’s needed.

Partner With Us for Your Teen’s Recovery 

Empower your teen and strengthen your family with our innovative and compassionate approach to recovery. Schedule your free 15-minute consultation now, and let’s begin your teen’s journey to recovery today.