Atlanta’s Leading Self-Harm Treatment Facility

Riverwoods Behavioral Health System, located in Riverdale, Georgia near Atlanta, provides a multidisciplinary approach to self-harm treatment. We create individualized treatment plans for adolescents, adults, and seniors.

Self-Harm Treatment

Learn more about self-harm treatment at Riverwoods Behavioral Health System near Atlanta, GA

At our treatment facility near Atlanta, Georgia, we are dedicated to helping you put an end to your non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors. At the same time, we recognize that self-harming behavior serves an important function for you. Thus, we will never attempt to make you stop engaging in what have become coping strategies for you before teaching you new strategies to replace them. While the thought of giving up your self-harm behaviors can be frightening since they provide you with some sense of relief from the pain you are in, we can help you learn more adaptive strategies that will come to feel just as comfortable for you to use when dealing with life’s stressors as yourself- injury strategies. We fully understand that in order to achieve this goal, you need constant support, compassion and some always available to whom you can turn. Our staff is notably empathic and well trained to help you deal with your self-harm strategies and they are quick to notice someone in need of some extra attention.

Our facility understands that many individuals with self-harm behavior are reluctant to seek therapy or medical attention. This may be because of a sense of shame or embarrassment. For other individuals, since self-harm is successful at alleviating pain, feelings of stress or other types of emotional suffering, they are reluctant to consider giving these strategies up due to feeling as if nothing else will work as well. There is a number of intervention approaches that have proven effective for treating self- harm behavior, balancing the decrease of this behavior with the increase of alternative coping strategies.

Why Consider Treatment

Why consider treatment for self-harm at Riverwoods Behavioral Health System near Atlanta, GA

At our hospital, our aim is to always do the best thing for the patient. While those who don’t fully understand self- injurious behaviors may feel that the best thing is to stop it immediately and then teach new skills, we know that is not in the best interests of those suffering from this problem. It is important to all our staff to recognize each person who comes to us seeking help is an individual with individual needs. We are dedicated to listening to you and learning what you find is important and meaningful in your life prior to recommending a particular treatment plan. This gives us the chance to get to know you as a person and create a treatment plan that applies specifically to you and your way of interacting with the world.

At the same time, we know that formal therapeutic work is not what you always need and that sometimes you need a caring other to sit with you or simply listen. Our facility provides much interaction between those who come here for help and our staff. All staff is committed to monitoring the individuals in our hospital so they can know as quickly as possible when someone needs some extra staff involvement providing you with the maximum amount of support whenever you need it.

We focus on the whole person. This means we recognize that self-injurious behavior may not be the only difficulty you are struggling with. We don’t believe that assessment is a one-time event but that it should be an ongoing process, letting us continuously gain a better understanding of not just what isn’t working for you, but also what is working for you. This focus enables us to create a strength-based approach to your treatment, honing in on the positive facets within you and utilizing them as a firm base from which you can feel more comfortable addressing the things you are struggling with. Utilizing your strengths to help you to better battle your difficulties places you on the road to healing and recovery which leads back to a fulfilling, happy and fully functional life with new, more adaptive strategies for dealing with stress.

At our hospital near Atlanta, Georgia, we are strong believers in the collaborative process as it applies to your treatment and healing. You are the one who knows the most about what feels comfortable and possible techniques you believe could be effective in decreasing and ultimately eliminating your self-injurious behaviors. Additionally, you are best able to inform us of any other difficulties you may be facing so your pathway to healing can be complete. Therefore, we always will include you in decisions regarding your treatment and, when you are ready to leave the hospital you are in, what is the best option for you the following discharge.

It is possible that your therapist or physician may recommend you enter a treatment facility such as Riverwoods to provide you with the ability to focus solely on your healing without other responsibilities and life events competing for your attention. While some individuals may feel frightened when considering a hospital setting, we do everything possible to make your stay with us as comfortable, safe and non-threatening as possible. This is one of the main reasons we have staff available at all times should you feel the need to talk to just would like the comfort of a supportive other. Our treatment facility is located near Atlanta in Riverdale, Georgia.

Our Philosophy

Riverwoods Behavioral Health System philosophy and treatment benefits

We believe that in order for healing to begin to occur, you need a supportive, nurturing and compassion-filled environment where you can feel safe and comfortable addressing the issues that will help you on your journey to recovery. We also know that often times, individuals who engage in self-injury are self-conscious as they believe they are the only ones who use self- harm as a means of coping with life’s difficulties. Often they have never come into contact with anyone else who self-injures which reinforces this belief that no one else practices self-harm behaviors. We know that understanding that others are fighting the same battle as you, can help you comprehend that the behavior has nothing to do with a flaw within you, as you come into contact with peers who you can relate to on a number of levels.

The opportunity to interact with peers suffering from the same difficulties as you are can also help you to realize that yourself- injurious behaviors are the result of learning and reinforcement processes over time coupled with not being provided with the information, instruction, advice and modeling necessary to internalize alternate possibilities for coping when feeling overwhelmed. Once you understand that just as you learned to cope through self-harm, you can learn to cope by utilizing a variety of other strategies you will be able to let go of the self- blame and recrimination you may feel as a result of the behavior. Therefore, we stress support as a key aspect of recovery; the support of staff, peers and family members.

Types of Treatment

Types of self-harm treatment offered at Riverwoods Behavioral Health System near Atlanta, GA

At our facility near Atlanta, Georgia, we use a variety of interventions to help you develop alternate coping abilities that you can use to replace your use of self-harm. Essentially, treatments are comprised of different types of therapy, and possibly the use of medication. Your treatment plan is created with you during your initial evaluation and altered as appropriate based on your preferences and what the staff believes are the most effective options specifically for you. In addition, since self-injurious behaviors frequently co-occur with other mental health difficulties, we approach treatment looking to treat the entire person, focusing on how each problem presents the overall picture of your mental health quality of life.

We recognize, however, that even though a particular treatment may generally be effective for treating self-harm, each person is different insofar as their reasons engaging in self- harm, as well as the effects on their behavior in terms of their thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and behavior. This is why we always check in with you regarding how you feel your recovery is progressing, process your responses, and help you determine if a different approach may be more beneficial for you.

Often, medication can help control some of your symptoms such as anxiety or depression, especially at the beginning of your recovery process, to help you adjust to our setting and feel more comfortable about developing trusting relationships with staff and peers on the unit, as well as to more effectively engage in the therapeutic process. Many individuals can be weaned off medication as their general comfort level increases and they begin to see changes in their behavior based on their treatment program. Medications most frequently used for self- injurious behaviors include anti-anxiety and anti-depressants medications.

Our hospital also utilizes individual therapy to help you process your specific issues and difficulties one-on-one with a therapist. The two primary individual therapy methods we use are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

Since self- injurious behaviors are most often intentionally used to cope with a distressing event, thought or relationship, CBT is very effective at helping to reduce these behaviors. CBT addresses your thought processes and analyses how your thoughts may be inaccurate or negative and help you learn to challenge and replace these thoughts with more accurate and positive thoughts. CBT also addresses the relationship between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Different people can experience the exact same event but have very different thoughts about the occurrence. These differences in thoughts will lead to different feelings experienced and ultimately different behaviors exhibited in reaction to the event.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), differs from CBT by emphasizing validation. DBT validates the individual’s experiences and how they made interpretations or attributed causation to an event. Additionally, DBT uses validation to help individuals accept uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and behaviors instead of fighting against them. Dialectics refers to the attempt to reach a balance between acceptance of what has occurred and change as individual moves forward. DBT also focuses on behavioral coping techniques an individual can use for overwhelming emotions, situations, and behaviors.

At our facility, we also utilize Group Therapy. We employ two types of therapy groups. The first, skills-based group therapy, focuses on education related to a specific topic such as co-occurring disorders, specific social skills, or relapse prevention skills. Our process therapy groups help individuals with similar difficulties explore and work through specific issues aided by the support of the group.

Family therapy is considered a crucial component treatment at Riverwoods. Family meetings address topics such as what life will be like post-discharge, maintaining safety and contingency, triggers for self- harm behavior, and relapse prevention. We also educate loved ones about mental health, self-injurious behavior, methods of treatments for recovery, and help loved ones work through their own issues and emotions related to a loved one’s self-harming behavior. Additionally, we help connect family members to appropriate support in their area and community resources they can utilize to better cope with their loved one’s symptoms.

Our facility also uses experiential methods to help individuals process and recover from self-injurious behavior and co-occurring problems utilizing experiential therapeutic modalities. This include:

  • Daily recreational activities
  • Nutrition
  • Creative Expression
  • Health based groups
  • Horticulture Therapy

Continuing Care

Continuing care and levels of treatment for self-harm

When you and your treatment team conclude that you are ready for discharge to a different program, you will work together to create a discharge plan. If you don’t feel you are ready to leave the support of an inpatient hospital setting, but no longer require intensive treatment, a residential treatment center may be appropriate. Many individuals enroll in our step-down treatment plans so they can continue to work on remaining difficulties. Our additional treatment options include a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). These two treatment options differ primarily on the number of hours a day services are provided.

We provide different levels of care in order for patients to feel more comfortable when it’s time to move to the next step towards healing. This ensures a seamless transition without triggering anxiety over the need to move to a completely different type of treatment. We strive to ensure continuity of care.

Don’t let self-harm behaviors prevent you from living life to the fullest. Effective treatments are available to help you re-enter life and make it possible for you to experience the happiness you deserve. If you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call our facility near Atlanta, Georgia to talk to a trained professional about treatment options. You are not alone and we are here to help.