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686,000 people sought help with Thriveworks in the last year

Discover how starting self-harm counseling can support your own journey toward a happier, more fulfilling life.

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Starting Self-harm counseling

What is Self-harm counseling?

Self-harm counseling is aimed at helping individuals who struggle with harming themselves break this pattern by addressing the underlying emotional causes and work to develop new, healthier coping skills. Thriveworks self-harm therapists in Boston, MA are experienced in treating those who self-harm with empathy, compassion, and unconditional regard in order to help them heal and recover, both physically and emotionally.

How does Self-harm counseling work?

Self-harm counseling at Thriveworks often uses cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy to help clients discover the connections between their thoughts and feelings and their behaviors. By assessing these areas, Thriveworks Boston therapists can help clients find and address the true emotional roots of their patterns and, from there, effectively adjust unwanted behaviors.

Is Self-harm counseling conducted in person or online?

Self-harm counseling at Thriveworks is conducted both in person and online by video. We encourage you to choose the option that works best for you.

How long does Self-harm counseling last?

The duration of self-harm counseling will often depend on a variety of factors, such as the intensity of an individual's symptoms or the current levels of stress present in their lives. Because of this, treatment can last a handful of months or on a continual basis over the course of years. In the end, it's up to the client and their individual needs.

Need more help deciding?

A new grandfather wants to retire and spend more time with his family, but he knows that will not happen any time soon. A fourth grader wipes her tears after a day of being bullied, putting on a smile before she gets off the bus and walks home. A recent college grad is working her first job and wondering if this is what her life will be like for the next 40 years. These individuals may not seem to share much in common, but their lives are actually quite similar. Different stressors are weighing them down, but they are handling the emotional pain in the same way—through self-harm.

“It was a way of expressing my own shame of myself on my own body. I was matching the inside to the outside. And there were sometimes where my emotions were just so built up, I didn’t know what to do…” –Demi Lovato

When people have lived through traumatic experiences, the accompanying pain can feel overwhelming, and many people just do what it takes to survive and live day-by-day. Self-harm may be the only way people know how to cope with their experiences and feelings. As Demi explained, the physical wounds are often expressions of emotional wounds.

While self-harm might bring momentary relief as a coping mechanism, it does not heal the emotional pain, and for many people, it can make the emotional pain worse over time. But there is another way, and many people are learning those healthier ways of coping. They are working with a therapist to heal the traumatic experiences and build up new emotional skills.

The counselors, psychologists, and therapists at Thriveworks Boston have walked with clients as they begin to process the pain and shame instead of turning those difficult emotions on their own body. Our professionals have seen tremendous healing and emotional growth as their clients learn a new way to cope and walk away from self-harm.

Signs Someone May Be Using Self-Harm

There are many, various types of self-harm. The most recognizable may be cutting, but people can also burn, brand, pinch, carve, scratch, or tattoo their bodies to inflict physical pain upon themselves. Yanking hair, picking scabs, or undoing stitches are also forms of self-harm. Such behaviors can arise during a particularly traumatic time in a person’s life or they can become a part of their regular routine.

The types of injures people give themselves can differ, and so can the signs they display. Some signs are more telling than others, but if people exhibit one or more of the following behaviors, they may be struggling with cutting…

  • Raw and new wounds such as burns, lacerations, bruises, scratches, or cuts.
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, and/or worthless.
  • Wearing clothes that completely covers their body—even in warm weather.
  • Questioning their identity and purpose.
  • Experiencing relational challenges with bosses, friends, family, teachers, and more.
  • Owning or having access to knifes, sharp objects, and other weapons that may be utilized in the self-harming process.
  • Behavior in an unpredictable or impulsive way.

Why Would Someone Self-Harm?

The answer to why, when, and how people self-harm are usually unique and personal to each individual, and yet, certain experiences or circumstances can raise an individual’s risk for turning to self-injury as a coping mechanism.

Unfortunately, a common denominator of why many people self-harm is psychological pain. Many people have survived emotional, physical, or sexual abuse as a child. Others have experienced other forms of trauma. Some have dealt with poverty and/or abandonment. These circumstances can trigger psychological pain such as feelings of worthlessness, anger, guilt, panic, rejection, confused sexuality, and/or self-hatred. While processing this pain, people may turn to cutting in the hopes that they will…

  1. Feel relief from their pain.
  2. Find help for their panic.
  3. Be able to control something in their lives.
  4. Something beyond numbness (for many, feeling physical pain is more comfortable than feeling nothing).
  5. Express what they have survived.

Self-injury may deliver a fleeting sense of relief, but once the short-term relief fades, the underlying wounds remain. Often, the difficult emotions return—possibly in a more intense form.

What If a Loved One Is Cutting

When a friend or family member may be cutting, know that as their loved one, you may be in a position to help them heal. Speaking up or offering support can feel scary, but it is okay to keep it simple. Often, the best way to care for someone who is struggling with self-harm is to provide an understanding and loving presence in their lives. For example, these forms of support can make a big difference:

  • Allow your loved one to talk freely. Lend an ear without judgment. Do not interrupt, lecture, fix, or criticize.
  • Vocalize your love: Tell your loved one that you care about them and that you are willing to support their recovery process. If it is appropriate, offer to help them heal in tangible ways—drop off a prescription, find a support group, drive them to a therapy session.

Counseling at Thriveworks Boston for Self-Harm

If you or a loved one is ready to see a therapist, psychologist, or counselor for their self-harm, know that Thriveworks Boston has appointments available. When you call our office, a person will answer the phone and help you schedule your first session—often the follow day. Weekend and evening appointments are available. We also work with most insurance providers and accept most insurance plans.

We are ready to walk with you on a healing journey. Contact Thriveworks Boston today.

Pricing & insurance

Our therapists accept most major insurances. We accept 585+ insurance plans, and offer self-pay options, too.
Learn more about pricing for therapy and counseling services at Thriveworks.

Our Boston therapists and counselors accept 27 insurance plans

  • Aetna

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts | BCBS

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield | Anthem (Blue Card)

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts | BCBS Medicare Advantage (HMO | PPO)

  • Carelon

  • Cigna | Evernorth

  • Cigna | Evernorth EAP

  • Cigna | Evernorth Medicare Advantage

  • Compsych

  • Fallon Health

  • First Health Network

  • Harvard Pilgrim

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Self-pay costs at Boston
Talk therapy

Talk therapy

Includes individual, couples, child/ teen, & family therapy

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Talk therapy

Psychiatry

Includes reducing symptoms with medication & management

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Hear from our clients

4.7 Learn about verified reviews
★★★★★
For the past year my mental, emotional and physical health has been restored. By God's providence, I connected with a psychiatric nurse practitioner at your agency. She skillfully assessed my situation and quickly prescribed much needed medication. I was at an all time low. Because of her expertise, compassion, and support, my life was renewed. So incredibly grateful to have my life back again.
Read more For the past year my mental, emotional and physical health has been restored. By God's providence, I connected with a psychiatric nurse practitioner at your agency. She skillfully assessed my situation and quickly prescribed much needed medication. I was at an all time low. Because of her expertise, compassion, and support, my life was renewed. So incredibly grateful to have my life back again.
Lillian Feb 2024
Thriveworks.com verified review
★★★★★
I have had a wonderful experience using Thriveworks. The website is easy to use and getting into the Zoom meeting is seamless
Read more I have had a wonderful experience using Thriveworks. The website is easy to use and getting into the Zoom meeting is seamless
Erynn Feb 2024
Thriveworks.com verified review
★★★☆☆
It was very difficult getting my account up. I believe that happens because when we initially signed up i made the account but it’s under my spouse insurance. After fixing the problem my not his account reflects our current therapy sessions. We get emails and text but when we sign into the thrivework accounts we can’t see the billing cycle to pay or see out upcoming session. Neither one of our accounts display update and current account information. And we have called a few times to get it right and it’s not working . My therapist and agency is splendid
Read more It was very difficult getting my account up. I believe that happens because when we initially signed up i made the account but it’s under my spouse insurance. After fixing the problem my not his account reflects our current therapy sessions. We get emails and text but when we sign into the thrivework accounts we can’t see the billing cycle to pay or see out upcoming session. Neither one of our accounts display update and current account information. And we have called a few times to get it right and it’s not working . My therapist and agency is splendid
Isoke Feb 2024
Thriveworks.com verified review
★★★★★
My limited time speaking with Marissa has been very help full. She has been very attentive to my needs.
Read more My limited time speaking with Marissa has been very help full. She has been very attentive to my needs.
Gary Dec 2023
Thriveworks.com verified review
★★★★★
I had the pleasure of working with Francesca about a year ago. Francesca is a versatile, and imaginative clinician. She takes an individual approach to every client and their situation. Her commitment to your growth and healing is of paramount importance to her. You'll be in great hands with her!
Read more I had the pleasure of working with Francesca about a year ago. Francesca is a versatile, and imaginative clinician. She takes an individual approach to every client and their situation. Her commitment to your growth and healing is of paramount importance to her. You'll be in great hands with her!
Boston Jan 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
As a former colleague of Francesca Bjork's, when we worked together as educators of young children, I can highly recommend her as an insightful, caring, and knowledgeable counselor. She always seems able to pinpoint the crux of a matter, and help her clients (and coworkers) find the best path. In more than a few instances, when I was faced with a difficult situation, she was always willing to help in any way she could, whether as an ear to listen, an advocate, or a problem-solver. I am glad that she has found a base at Thriveworks, and is able to use her talent to help others.
Read more As a former colleague of Francesca Bjork's, when we worked together as educators of young children, I can highly recommend her as an insightful, caring, and knowledgeable counselor. She always seems able to pinpoint the crux of a matter, and help her clients (and coworkers) find the best path. In more than a few instances, when I was faced with a difficult situation, she was always willing to help in any way she could, whether as an ear to listen, an advocate, or a problem-solver. I am glad that she has found a base at Thriveworks, and is able to use her talent to help others.
Boston Nov 2019
Review left on Thriveworks.com

Where to find us

Getting here

Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Boston is located at the corner of Emerson Place and Blossom Street, inside the Emerson Place Apartments building. We are located on the opposite side of Route 3 from the Charles River and Lederman Park. Across the street, on the opposite side of Blossom Street, you will find the Mass General Hospital complex.

Phone number

(617) 397-3951

Languages spoken by MA providers

  • Urdu
  • English
  • Creole
Wednesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Saturday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Monday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 9:00pm

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Wednesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Thursday 7:00am - 9:30pm
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Saturday 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Monday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Tuesday 7:00am - 9:30pm

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