Mental health counselors working with adolescents and young adults often encounter nonsuicidal self-injury. Compassion-focused therapy (CFT), a form of cognitive behavioral therapy designed to help people relate to themselves with greater compassion, is proposed as an approach for addressing the most common underlying functions of nonsuicidal self-injury. This article reviews the theoretical underpinnings and goals of CFT and discusses how it can be used in counseling clients who self-injure. It describes strategies and techniques that target client attention, imagery, feeling, thinking, and behaviors and offers guidelines and considerations for using compassion-focused interventions for nonsuicidal self-injury.
This content is only available as a PDF.