Will I hurt myself today… Or do something (F.A.B.) instead?
Time for a Trauma Tuesday post. But this one is not what you think.
By this time, most people have heard the notion that those who have been hurt may be more at risk to hurt others.
In my work with clients who have been through childhood abuse, mistreatment and neglect, I often see the tragic pattern they try to stop, often failing because of a lack of resources, or knowledge about what to do differently.
And on our caseloads with clients with autism or developmental disabilities, we frequently treat another kind of pain, the kind that a person produces for themselves and often related to the challenging environments in which our clients live, or a lack of skill in expressing one’s needs. In our field, hurting oneself is known as “self-injury” or SIB (self-injurious behavior).
However, this post is not about treating SIB in our clients, although there are many resources for doing this, and your friendly local behavior analyst can do a functional behavior assessment to determine where to start, before making an individualized plan.
This post is about something else that is common, yet hidden.
Recently in a women’s empowerment group for supposedly “neurotypical” people, a behavior analyst was stunned when 75 percent of hands went up as the question was asked, “how many of us have actually hurt ourselves, or do this on a regular basis?”
Today, my question for us is, what about the pain all around us? What about self injury in the general population? Continue reading