Self-harm, also known as self-mutilation, is a term used to describe any behavior, action, or habit which is done to intentionally injure oneself. This deliberate physical abuse can include cutting, burning, picking skin, and hitting oneself. In many cases, self-injury occurs at times of anger, distress, fear, emotional worry, or depression, and is used as a tool to manage these negative feelings. Additionally, self-harm can be used as a form of self-punishment. People who self-harm describe their behavior as a way of coping with overwhelming feelings associated with difficult or painful experiences. For some, self-injury becomes addictive because it is a way for individuals to feel better and re-establish control over emotions.
At Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems in Lafayette, Louisiana, we understand that your self-harming behavior is a way of coping with stressful situations or painful emotions. We also recognize that you may be ashamed of your behavior and do everything you can to keep it a secret because you do not think anyone will understand. At Vermilion’s treatment clinic, we provide specialized programming designed to meet the sensitive needs of individuals. With a clear focus on client care and patient safety, our goal is to provide compassionate, individualized, comprehensive, and high quality care and treatment for adolescents and adults who are struggling with psychiatric concerns, chemical dependency issues, or co-occurring disorders. At Vermilion, we aim to promote each individual’s mental, emotional, and social wellness by utilizing proven therapeutic techniques and providing a safe and structured treatment environment that is conducive to complete healing.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Self-injury can often be extremely difficult to detect due to the fact that physical injuries can be easily covered up by clothing and emotional distress can be internalized. However, there are some warning signs that may indicate someone is engaging in self-harming behaviors:
- Unexplained cuts or scars
- Blood stains on clothing, towels, or sheets
- Sharp objects among person’s belongings
- Having frequent accidents
- Wearing long sleeves and pants, even in summer
- Wanting to be alone for long periods of time
- Frequent irritability
Discovering that someone you love is harming him or herself can be extremely upsetting and confusing. Not only are you upset that your loved one is intentionally causing harm to him or herself, but you also do not understand why anyone would engage in this behavior. In order to support someone who is self-harming in a caring way, it is important to learn why people engage in self-harm and become familiar with some strategies that can be used in order to be more supportive. Here are some things to keep in mind when supporting your loved one:
- Take self-harm seriously
- Do not be judgmental
- When he or she does talk to you about the self-harming behavior, be compassionate and respectful
- Do not give ultimatums
- Understand that getting better is a long journey
Why Consider Treatment at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems
It can be extremely difficult for individuals who self-mutilating to stop on their own and, even with help, it may take a while for them to fully recover. While self-injury provides some relief, it is short-lasting and the underlying concerns are not properly being dealt with, which can lead to greater problems. Additionally, many who self-harm go to great lengths to keep their behavior a secret, often affecting relationships with friends and family members and the way one views him or herself. Self-harm can make an individual feel lonely, worthless, and trapped.
Participating at an inpatient treatment rehab can be extremely beneficial at helping individuals learn more effective and less damaging ways of dealing with stress and troubling emotions. Inpatient services provides individuals with access to mental health professionals 24/7 who are there to provide them with unconditional support. Similarly, when in at inpatient treatment clinic, individuals are surrounded by other patients who are going through similar struggles who they can lean on for additional support. Through various therapeutic methods, individuals can come to understand why they are self-harming and learn other ways to get their needs met, reducing their desire to hurt themselves. Additionally, inpatient treatment clinics can help people identify self-harm triggers and get in touch with their feelings. Through hard work and support, an inpatient rehab can help lead to successful recovery.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
For over 30 years, Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems has prided itself in being the most comprehensive, free-standing provider of behavioral health services in the area, providing exceptional patient care in the safest environment possible. Our multidisciplinary team of specialty clinical staff members is devoted to maintaining optimal training and development to increase competencies with all of the different populations that we serve. At Vermilion’s treatment clinic, we strive to help our patients explore and process issues and challenges and increase insight and understanding of their own mental health concerns. By encouraging family involvement and enlisting community support, we aim to assist those who come to us for care in meeting their treatment goals while in the hospital and beyond.
Types of Treatment Offered at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems
Upon first arriving at Vermilion’s treatment clinic in Lafayette, all patients are provided with a free, confidential level of care screening by one of our Assessment and Referral Specialists, which will then be reviewed by one of our psychiatrists who will recommend the most appropriate level of care. The staff at Vermilion Behavioral Health believes in the power of using rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) as the main approach to treatment. We have found that this therapeutic model is suited for treating both acute and short-term lengths of stay due to its effectiveness in working quickly by helping patients identify and dispute irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions. REBT has also proven to be beneficial in providing extended care for military services and the full spectrum of disorders. By implementing this REBT approach to treatment, the therapeutic interventions that are incorporated in our inpatient programming options include the following:
Detoxification: For those adolescents and adults who come to us addicted to drugs or alcohol, we provide a fully-monitored medical detox rehab. As part of the 12-step model of recovery, we implement the idea of “rational recovery,” designed to provide patients with skills that can last a lifetime and prevent future problems with addiction.
Medication management: While there are no medications that specifically treat self-harming behaviors, medication may still be prescribed to treat symptoms of co-occurring disorders that may exist. When prescribed any type of medication, patients meet with a psychiatrist on a regular basis in order to monitor its effectiveness and to make any necessary changes.
Group therapy: Group therapy is the main component of treatment at our inpatient treatment clinic. Various groups are held on a daily basis and may include discussions on mental illness education, problem-solving, goal-setting, anger management, conflict resolution, healthy relationships, effective communication skills, medication education, and holistic wellness.
Individual therapy: Individual counseling sessions are held on an as-needed basis and provide patients with time to meet one-on-one with a therapist in order to discuss any specific struggles they are facing, as well as to reflect on goals that have been reached.
Family therapy: We believe that positive changes are initiated through the family unit as a whole, which is why we strongly encourage the family members of our patients to actively participate in the therapeutic process. Family therapy sessions are designed to address issues that affect the entire family and begin the process of identifying solutions. We also offer parents and caregivers education on mental illness and medication management so that they can effectively help their loved one.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): This form of therapy is designed to help people create a rich and meaningful life by developing the skills needed to effectively handle the pain and stress that inevitably comes with life’s experiences.
In order to provide a fully comprehensive therapeutic experience, Vermilion also provides the following:
- Experiential therapies
- Expressive therapies
- Recreation therapy
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
At Vermilion Behavioral Health in Lafayette, LA, we believe that thorough planning is critical to ensuring that a patient is discharged into the most supportive environment possible after his or her inpatient stay. By doing so, we are able to endorse a positive continuity of care and quality of life, maximize stabilization, and minimize the need for re-hospitalization. Our social services staff works with each patient’s treatment team to develop a discharge plan based on the patient’s needs, resources, preferences, geographic location of residence, family involvement, and community resources. With patient consent, this plan is then passed on to the designated discharge planner who initiates referrals, schedules appointments, and finalizes any other necessary arrangements.
Whatever your needs may be, the staff at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems will do everything in their power to get you back on the road to a happy, healthy life.