Online course

Overcoming Self-harm

How to reduce and prevent self-harming behaviours

With the right help and support most people who self-harm can, and do, fully recover over time – this inspiring course shows you how…

Course Factfile

Overcoming Self-harm (Online)

Read reviews
  • Tutor: Emily Gajewski

  • CPD Certificate: 6 hours

  • Suitable for: Both professionals and people concerned for personal reasons, read more

Special offer

  • Price: £159 £135.15 per person

Price includes course notes, handouts and life-long access

Special Offer


Self-harming and self-injury behaviours are increasing at an alarming rate – particularly among children and young people. It’s common to feel powerless when faced with such distressing behaviour, but with the essential information and skills you will learn on this course, you needn’t feel that way again.

Helpful that real-life experiences were used as examples, trainer had excellent work-based knowledge...

Suicide Prevention Co-ordinator

Why take this course

Emily Gajewski has decades of hands-on experience helping children and adults successfully overcome or significantly reduce their self-harming behaviour. Her insightful training day demystifies the self-harming cycle, clarifies its causes and shows why we should not give up on anyone, even in the most apparently hopeless situations.

You will gain a wealth of new information, proven techniques and useful tips which combined will ensure you give sufferers the best chance of recovering their mental health and moving on in their lives – you will also hear from people who have been able to completely stop self-harming (or dramatically reduced it) and are now living fulfilled lives as a result of this approach.

If you would like to make sense of all the fragments of information you have about self-harming and pull them all together into a cohesive and effective treatment strategy, this online course is for you.

I work with self-harming teenagers a lot and learned valuable new tools on this course...

Sara Simon

What will you learn

  • A greater understanding of self-injury and why it occurs
  • Warning signs that indicate someone may be self-harming
  • What to do when someone discloses their self-harming behaviour to you
  • The essential Dos and Don’ts for teams and individuals working with people who self-harm
  • The latest guidelines around working with self-harm, including positive risk management and harm minimisation
  • The importance of differentiating between self-harming and a suicide attempt – and how to treat them both
  • The self-harm continuum – what tips us into self-harming behaviours
  • What to do if someone is threatening to self-harm
  • The common myths and stereotypes surrounding self-injury
  • Powerful techniques that will transform your effectiveness and a ‘tried-and-tested’ framework for improving wellbeing, drawn from profound knowledge about what people need to avoid mental and emotional distress and increase wellbeing
  • How chemical changes in the brain from self-harming behaviours can bring temporary relief from difficult emotions
  • Why there is often an addictive element to self-injury (insights from neuroscience)
  • How to approach the subject of self-injury with someone
  • A cohesive and effective treatment strategy for treating self-injury and breaking the destructive cycle of behaviour
  • Knowledge of the important skills needed for working with people who self-harm (these are practised on our attended workshop)
  • Enlightening filmed interviews and case histories which show how it is possible to help people, even in a very desperate situation, to live fulfilling lives again
  • Insights from a highly experienced tutor who has extensive hands-on experience of helping people successfully overcome self-harming
  • Ways to help people build resilience against future stressful circumstances
  • Tips on finding the most helpful coping strategies
  • How to help people create an alternative ‘safe place’ for themselves
  • Information that will reduce your own anxiety when working in this area
  • How to create an effective self-management plan and increase the individual’s engagement with it
  • Important new information that will help you prevent self-harm
  • New confidence when making interventions with people who once seemed unreachable
Good to know

Good to know

The online course Tackling Addiction also gives you a lot of information relevant to self-harm and the further skills you will learn on the Brief therapy for stopping addictions workshop can also be useful for working with people who self-harm.

Guided imagery and visualisation are key skills to have for implementing the strategies covered on this course.

Invaluable - it was like lifting a veil on the reasons for self-harm


Please note there is an attended workshop version of this course which includes practical exercises and counts towards Part 1 of the Human Givens Diploma. If you take this online course, you can attend the in-person workshop at 50% off.

Course Programme

Who is this course suitable for?

The profound information and advice on this course is presented in a clear, practical way so that it is readily accessible and helpful to as many people as possible, including:

  • Health and welfare professionals, including: psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, mental health nurses, psychiatrists, student wellbeing officers, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, health visitors, youth workers, outreach and support workers
  • School counsellors, teachers and other educational professionals
  • Parents and carers of someone who self-harms
  • Anyone who has a friend who is self-harming – or who works with vulnerable men and women in the voluntary sector.

This course is relevant to a range of self-harming behaviours including:

  • Self-injury
  • cutting, ripping or carving skin
  • burning skin
  • punching or hitting themselves
  • scratching or pinching (including dermatillomania)
  • poisoning themselves with tablets or liquids (to similar)
  • Over-eating and under-eating (anorexia or bulimia)
  • Biting yourself (dermatophagia)
  • Inserting objects into your body
  • overdosing, exercising excessively
  • pulling your hair (trichotillomania)
  • getting into fights where you know you will get hurt

What's included?

  • Videos
    22 Videos
  • Multiple Choice Quizes
  • PDF Course Notes
  • Lifetime access
    Life-time access
  • CPD Certificate
    CPD Certificate

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Reviews for this course

4.7/5 (18 Reviews)
  1. Sara Simon, Art Psychotherapist & Human Givens Practitioner

    I work with self-harming teenagers a lot, and learned valuable new tools in this course. Helpful that it’s not just about emotional needs & innate resources, and uses Emily’s extensive experience to add seamlessly to the HG approach. The ‘Personality adaptation’ tool has helped me with a particular client I’ve been ‘stuck’ with. Good person-centred safety planning advice too, with the emphasis on the client’s own risk management. Finally, it was great to hear service users’ feedback on their negative and positive inpatient experiences to really illustrate the points being made. A really good course.

  2. Christine Walker, LSA ?Counsellor

    Excellent and in-depth training which was very informative and thought provoking on the subject of self-harm.

  3. Senior Social Work Practitioner

    I definitely feel more confident now in working with people who self-harm. I also think I need to look at our policies in the organisation I work for in the light of this.

  4. Psychotherapist

    Good quality information well presented. Excellent content and presenter.

  5. Organisation Development worker

    Emily’s introduction describing how she came into this field immediately engaged me with the importance of the topic and the structure of the day – very helpful start.

  6. Counsellor in private practice

    The whole day has been an invaluable experience and helped me to re-evaluate what I have termed ‘self-harm’. It has alerted me to behaviours in the children I work with which I might otherwise have overlooked.

  7. HG Therapist/OT

    Thank you so much for a really informative and thought-provoking day. So well put together.

  8. Martin, Parent

    A really helpful, caring approach – today has clarified so much for me and I can now see a sensible way forward.

  9. Student Welfare Officer

    Very relevant to my workplace and profession.

  10. Therapist/Education Consultant

    Emily very elegantly presented HG principles in ways that encouraged new thoughts and ideas and offered a wide range of very useful and accessible, practical techniques. Her experience in working in this field was very apparent. An excellent example of ‘creating an effective environment for learning’ that was useful and enjoyable. A really worthwhile investment of time – CPD of the highest quality.

  11. Trainer/Assistant unit leader

    Yet again your training is highly relevant and current. This will be passed on to the staff I work with to inform/improve our work with young people.

  12. IT Service Management

    I understand so much more about self-harm reasons and treatment now. Films were a very powerful experience.

  13. Malcolm, Social work

    All of the content was really useful. The film was an excellent way of bringing the ideas to life. I think that the course has put self-harm into context for me and reduced my anxiety about how to work with someone who self-harms.

  14. Suicide Prevention Co-ordinator

    Excellent work-based knowledge of trainer – helpful that real-life experiences were used as examples.

  15. Educational Psychologist

    I liked the practical and well structured techniques for working with self-harmers. I come across this regularly in my job. The HG approach and reframing of self-harm gives me a framework for talking differently about this issue with school professionals. An approach I can really use.

  16. Counsellor

    Lovely teaching, very real and human.

  17. Housewife/mother

    Fantastic day with excellent information to help me increase my understanding and empathy. Films particularly powerful.

  18. Teacher

    Excellent course – a mix of information and methods: film, discussion and activity.

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