Social Workers' Experiences Treating Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) In Children and Adolescents: A Phenomenological Investigation

Jennifer C Smith, Fordham University

Abstract

This study explores social workers’ experiences treating Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in children and adolescents and experiences of supervision surrounding NSSI treatment, using 24 semi-structured in-depth interviews with 12 licensed social workers in outpatient mental health clinics in New York City from January-May 2015. Themes included: clinicians’ experience of feeling like a mother in treatment, parental pressure placed on clinicians to stop NSSI, pressure to stop the behavior from the clinic, and supervisor reactivity. Additionally, the parallel process and vicarious trauma resulting from the intersection of trauma and NSSI suggest the need for supervisory awareness of the parallel process as a learning technique and the need for clinicians to practice self-care. Major conclusions: social workers want NSSI-specific training to build clinical competency and self-confidence and higher quality supervision, including direct practice guidance with NSSI. Training is recommended for mental health clinic supervisors and directors. ^

Subject Area

Mental health|Social work

Recommended Citation

Smith, Jennifer C, "Social Workers' Experiences Treating Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) In Children and Adolescents: A Phenomenological Investigation" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10153613.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10153613

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