Self-Harm Psychology Tools that Helped Me Recover

April 29, 2021 Kim Berkley

Finding the right self-harm psychology tools is vital for creating a sustainable path forward into long-term recovery. Today, I want to share a few of the tools that I've personally found particularly useful over the years.

Self-Harm Psychology Tools I've Used for Recovery

There are a wealth of self-harm psychology tools available today that can make a significant difference in a person's healing journey. For me, there have been three tools in particular that have made the biggest difference in my self-harm recovery:

Mindfulness was one of the first self-harm psychology tools I turned to when I began my recovery process. It took a while for me to figure out which specific exercises worked best for me, but once I did, I was finally able to begin coping with stress in healthier ways and minimizing its impact on my life and my health. For me, guided meditations and gentle yoga routines have proved the most helpful in cultivating a calmer mindset.

I have been writing since I was very young. I have journals dating all the way back to when I was six years old, and I have often turned to poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to channel excess nervous and negative energy into something productive and fulfilling. Writing for HealthyPlace has also been unexpectedly and intensely therapeutic because it gives me an opportunity to use my negative experiences to support positive change—for myself and for others.

Finally (and most recently), I have found CBT incredibly helpful in dismantling negative thought patterns (of exactly the kind that used to lead me to self-harm) and replacing them with healthier, more balanced ones. I practiced this a little bit with an online therapist before moving into self-directed therapy. I worked through a workbook slowly, over the course of a year, and came out on the other side of it feeling healthier than I have in years. I cannot recommend CBT highly enough, especially if (like me) you struggle with intrusive thoughts.

Finding Self-Harm Psychology Tools that Work for You

The tools I listed above have been invaluable to my recovery, and I do recommend trying them if you haven't already. However, keep in mind that recovery is a personal experience—one that is unique to the individual. As such, what works for me may not work for you.

The best way to find out which self-harm psychology tools are right for you is, quite simply, to try them. It's ideal to work through your options with a therapist who can help you clearly see what works for you, what doesn't, and why. Some tools in particular, such as CBT, work best with professional guidance (at least in the beginning).

Regardless of whether you have professional support or not, however, the key is simply to experiment and be patient. If something doesn't work right away, give it time. When I first started meditating, I found it incredibly difficult (not to mention boring) until I found specific guided meditations that really spoke to me and my beliefs.

You may get lucky, and find something right off the bat that helps. Or, it may take some trial and error to find what works for you. More than anything, keep trying. It will be worth it to have even a couple of tools in your recovery toolbox that really work for you.

Do you have any go-to self-harm recovery tools you find particularly helpful? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments.

APA Reference
Kim Berkley (2021, April 29). Self-Harm Psychology Tools that Helped Me Recover, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 24 from

Author: Kim Berkley

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