This collection brings together a range of voices on the theme of self-harm – from those who have experienced self-harm directly, alongside the friends, family and staff who live and work with self-harm. Too often, our understanding of the unique and complex experiences of people who self-harm is limited to concepts of mental illness, disorder and disease. Yet these stories demonstrate the strength, survival and recovery of people with rich and diverse lives.
Inspiring, hopeful and at times challenging to read, the contributors who have so generously shared their experiences in this book will promote understanding and compassion, improve attitudes and care, and offer hope to those who are personally encountering self-harm. In this respect, this book is of immense value to all those working with self-harm across a spectrum of services and roles, and to those living with self-harm.
A courageous and moving collection that challenges every stereotype about self-harm and offers the first real opportunity to understand a complicated and often distressing action as people experience it themselves. If this book were required reading for professionals, it would transform the mental health system. –Gail A. Hornstein, Professor of Psychology and author of Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness (PCCS Books, 2012)
A beacon of light. –Louise Pembroke, founder of the National Self Harm Network and editor of Self-harm: Perspectives from Personal Experience (Chipmunka, 2009)
The ‘Our Encounters with…’ series collect together unmediated, unsanitised narratives by service-users, past service-users and carers. These stories of direct experience will be of great benefit to those interested in narrative enquiry, and to those studying and practising in the field of mental health. The series includes “Our Encounters with Madness” ed. Grant, Biley, Walker, and “Our Encounters with Suicide” ed. Grant, Haire, Stone and Biley.