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  • Nursing
  • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Psychiatric Technicians
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
Author(s): Edward Selby, PhD
Peer Reviewer(s): Rhonda Goodman, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC, NCSN, AHN-BC
Item#: N1654
Contents: 1 Course Book (56 pages)
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Self-Injury in Adolescents and Adults

Price $16.95
Item # N1654
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with accreditation criteria, credit will not be awarded for completion of this course beyond 9/30/2018.

Expiration Date: September 30, 2018

Self-injury is a serious behavioral problem in which an individual purposefully inflicts damage to his or her body through methods such as cutting, scratching, burning, or inserting sharp objects into the skin in the absence of suicidal intent. A person’s reasons for engaging in self-injury are varied, and as this course illuminates, there may be several motivations for this often perplexing behavior. Self-injury is commonly confused with suicidal behavior in schools, emergency rooms, and other settings and this course helps nurses distinguish when there is suicidal intent and when the behavior is non-suicidal.  Self-injury behavior can result in serious medical complications and is a known risk factor for later suicidal behavior. Yet despite the seriousness of this behavior, many nurses  are uncertain about self-injury’s diagnostic implications or the best methods for treating it. Self-injury has, until recently, been understudied and overlooked but is now emerging as a major clinical and public health concern.  There are high prevalence rates of self-injury among youth and adults which put mental health and school professionals in a unique position to identify and intervene with individuals who self-injure.  

This course provides nurses with the most up-to-date information on self-injury so they are better able to assess for the presence of the behavior and provide the best possible treatment.  The course describes the various presentations of self-injury, presents a history of the diagnosis, and details developmental considerations and risk factors for self-injury.  The course describes in detail the reasons a person may self-injure so that learners come away with a much better understanding of this commonly misunderstood behavior.  Attention is then paid to assessing, diagnosing, and treating self-injury in a variety of settings including mental health and school settings. Because self-injury may present along with other disorders such as depression, eating disorders, or personality disorders, the course discusses common co-occurring disorders. A list of additional resources is provided to learners to enhance the practice applications presented in the course.

Course Objectives

  • Define self-injury, including its prevalence and common presentations.
  • Explain the historical classification of self-injury and its inclusion as a disorder for further investigation in DSM-5.
  • Identify the developmental trajectories for self-injury in adolescents and adults.
  • Identify factors that commonly contribute to the development of self-injury, the possible functions of self-injury, and the health consequences of self-injury.
  • Describe approaches to assessing self-injurious thoughts, behaviors, and methods.
  • Differentiate self-injury from other diagnoses and comorbidities.
  • Explain the approaches to treating self-injury.

Edward A. Selby, PhD, is an assistant professor in the clinical psychology program at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Dr. Selby has extensive research and clinical experience in improving our understanding and treatment of self-injurious behavior. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters – many of which examine nonsuicidal self-injury and suicidal behavior – and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Much of his work is aimed at understanding the emotional experiences that precede the onset of self-injury, as well as the negative emotional and social consequences that result from such behavior. His recent work has also involved preliminary investigations of the newly proposed nonsuicidal self-injury disorder. Funding has been awarded for Dr. Selby’s research by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Dr. Selby has been extensively trained in major treatments for self-injurious and suicidal behavior, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and mindfulness-based interventions. Dr. Selby’s recent work involves developing new treatments for emotional and behavioral problems, including self-injury, using daily digital assessment with smartphones.

Rhonda Goodman, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC, NCSN, AHN-BC, is a family nurse practitioner and an assistant professor at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Dr. Goodman has studied self-injury behavior in adolescent females and has published several articles on this topic, as well as presented at conferences on the local, state, national, and international levels. Her main focus of research concerns women’s health and voice. 

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.