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Season 3 | Episode 44

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Season 3 | Episode 44

How Should Self-Harm Be Defined?

Dec 29, 2023

with Drs. Brooke Ammerman & Greg Lengel

How Should Self-Harm Be Defined?with Drs. Brooke Ammerman & Greg Lengel
00:00 / 01:04

What exactly constitutes nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI)? Dr. Brooke Ammerman from the University of Notre Dame and Dr. Greg Lengel from Drake University discuss the complexities of defining NSSI. They also describe the difference between deliberate self-harm and NSSI and share their research about what many clinicians, researchers, and people with lived experience tell them about what they think constitutes NSSI and how we should define it.

Learn more about Dr. Ammerman and her work in the Affect, Suicide, Self-Injury, and Social Triggers (ASSIST) Lab at  Listen to her interview from Season 1 ("Disclosures of Self-Injury") here. Learn more about Dr. Lengel at his faculty profile at Drake University here.  Follow them on Twitter/X at @brooke_ammerman and @DrGregLengel. Below are links to some of the papers discussed in this episode:

  1. Lengel, G. J., Ammerman, B. A., & Washburn, J. J. (2022). Clarifying the definition of nonsuicidal self-injury: Clinician and researcher perspectives. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 43(2), 119–126.

  2. Ammerman, B. A., Lengel, G. J., & Washburn, J. J. (2021). Consideration of clinician and researcher opinions on the parameters of nonsuicidal self-injury disorder diagnostic criteria. Psychiatry Research, 296, 113642.

Follow Dr. Westers on Instagram and Twitter/X (@DocWesters). To join ISSS, visit and follow ISSS on Facebook and Twitter/X (@ITripleS).

The Psychology of Self-Injury podcast has been rated #1 by Feedspot  in their list of "10 Best Self Harm Podcasts" and #5 in their "20 Best Clinical Psychology Podcasts." It has also been featured in Audible's "Best Mental Health Podcasts to Defy Stigma and Begin to Heal."

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