Next Webinar 3/22: Students who Self-Injure: What Educators Need to Know and How They Can Help

Unfortunately, non-suicidal self-injury is common – about 1 in 7 students reports engaging in the behavior. NSSI is associated with deteriorating academic performance, being bullied, and poor social connectedness. And studies indicate that the behavior often starts before the teen years.

While the goal of a suicide attempt is to end life, the goal of NSSI is actually to gain relief from the emotional turmoil precipitating the behavior. And because self-injury often provides immediate relief, the behavior is often repeated – leaving students with physical and emotional scars that can last for a long time.

Kim Johancen, LPC, is a Colorado-based counselor who works extensively with students who engage in self-injurious behavior. She will explore signs of, and factors that may contribute to NSSI during this 90-minute interactive webinar. Calling on her unique experience, she will dispel myths associated with self-injury. She will illustrate that students who self-injure may be diagnosable with a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression or PTSD – but may also have no underlying disorder. She will discuss the possible backlash of self-injury such as rejection and shame. Further, using actual case studies from her practice, she will share practices and strategies to use with students to help them cope, find replacement behaviors, gain new perspectives, enhance relationships and build resiliency. 

Counselors, teachers, administrators, social workers, psychologist, interventionists and other educators will benefit from understanding why students self-injure, how NSSI impacts them, and how the behavior can be discouraged and/or prevented.


  • Forms of self-injury
  • Mental health and NSSI
  • Contributing factors to NSSI
  • Lessons learned from case studies
    • What works
    • Specific strategies used to help

Webinar attendees will learn to:

  • Define Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)
  • Learn to differentiate NSSI from more potentially life-threatening forms of self-injury
  • Determine if a student is self-injuring – and understand what an educator should do
  • Understand causes of and contributing factors to NSSI including mental health diagnoses that may be involved
  • Understand the role emotions play in NSSI
    • Unable to feel anything
    • Overwhelmed by emotion
  • Explore actual real-life case studies to gain insights


Kim Johancen is a licensed professional counselor with more than twenty years of experience working with clients who have experienced trauma. Her career includes working with adolescent and adult survivors dealing with complicated grief and loss – including sexual trauma, relationship loss, individuals and families who have been impacted by suicide, and clients struggling with self-injury. In addition to seeing adolescents, adults and families, Kim also has experience facilitating both small and large groups including crisis debriefings at local agencies in Colorado. Kim has been invited to present at numerous conferences and seminars both locally and nationally and has presented her work on self-injury at Harvard University and her work with suicidal patients at Stony Brook University. In addition to her clinical work, Kim has also been asked to contribute a chapter to Matthew Selekman’s Adolescent and Young Adult Self-Harming Treatment Manual and has published over nine articles with the American Counseling Association. Kim currently has a column on the ACA website and continues to offer both counseling and consultation services to various agencies both nationally and locally.


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