I recently conducted a series of interviews for a research project where a number of the participants were adolescents. While speaking with the youth it was hard not to notice how many of these individuals presented with major scarring up and down their arms from what I assume, were repeated engagements in self-harming behaviours. This observation was the impetus for investigating the role of the school counsellor in the prevention and intervention of self-harming behaviours. In the literature, self-harming behaviour is most often referred to as non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and is defined as the intentional destruction of body tissue that is not culturally sanctioned and is without conscious suicide intent. The most common forms of NSSI are reported as self-cutting, scratching, burning and hitting. North American prevalence rates for NSSI in the adolescent population range from 15-28% with the age of onset ranging between 13-15 years (Heath, Baxter, Toste, & McLouth, 2010).
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA