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Season 3 | Episode 38

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Season 3 | Episode 38

Self-Harm OCD vs. Nonsuicidal Self-Injury

Jun 30, 2023

with Nathan Peterson

Self-Harm OCD vs. Nonsuicidal Self-Injurywith Nathan Peterson
00:00 / 01:04

Approximately 1-4% of people throughout the world experience obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Individuals with OCD are more likely than those without OCD to engage in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), and recent research has shown that, among those who self-injure, having a diagnosis of OCD predicts more severe self-injury.

In this episode, licensed clinical social worker and OCD expert Nathan Peterson explains how he differentiates nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) from Self-Harm OCD, which is just one of many subtypes of OCD and one in which a person experiences intrusive thoughts or mental images of violence toward oneself. He then walks us through how he uses Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for Self-Harm OCD in therapy. 

Learn more about Nathan and his therapy practice OCD and Anxiety Counseling here. He has nearly 100k subscribers on YouTube (@ocdandanxiety) where his videos receive thousands and thousands of views. You can also follow him on Instagram (@ocdandanxietyonline), Twitter (@ocdandanxiety1), and Facebook.  Click here to take his online "Do I Have Harm OCD? Test." Below are additional resources about OCD and/or NSSI:

  1. Browning, M. E., Lloyd-Richardson, E. E., Schneider, R. L., Faro, A. L., Muehlenkamp, J. J., & Claudio-Hernandez, A. (2022). Obsessive compulsive disorder and co-occurring nonsuicidal self-injury: Evidence-based treatments and future research directions. The Behavior Therapist, 45(6), 199-208.

  2. International OCD Foundation at https://iocdf.org/.

To learn more about how medication can help address OCD (most often in tandem with ERP but not discussed in this episode), click here

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

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

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