Laura A. Hilton, Psy.D., is a 2017 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Kathi Borden, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Lorraine Mangione, PhD, Committee Member
  • Amanda Hitchings, PsyD, Committee Member


self-injurious behavior, provider perspective, mental health, attitudes

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Self-Injurious behavior (SIB) has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Although concern about the prevalence of this behavior has increased, some therapists feel that they cannot adequately treat those who engage in self-injurious behavior (Miller, 2005). In this study, mental health providers were asked to complete a brief survey about their experiences providing treatment to those who engage in self-injurious behavior. The goal was to gather information with respect to their experiences treating self-injurious behavior. The study explored provider perspectives with regard to attitude, prognosis, best treatment practices, clinical preparedness, and comfort level in treating individuals who engage in self-injurious behavior. Overall, participants reported positive attitudes toward clients who reported SIB. Further, a longer time in practice was significantly associated with seven domains including increased sense of competence, confidence, and comfort. A longer time in practice was also significantly associated with lower levels of feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Also, although many participants reported having attended past trainings that covered SIB, the majority were still interested in attending a SIB-specific training. In particular, they were interested in learning about treatment approaches and best practices. This was an attempt to understand whether providers felt able to respond to the challenges that self-injurious behavior presents as well as consider ways to help providers meet the needs of this particular population.


Laura A. Hilton

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-1583-6578