Year: 2018 Source: New Zealand Journal of Psychology. (2017). 46(3): 98-105. SIEC No: 20180448

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) is the direct deliberate destruction of bodily tissue, which is not socially sanctioned, and occurs without suicidal intent. NSSI is a common behaviour among young people within Aotearoa New Zealand, and internationally. About one-third to half of secondary school students have engaged in NSSI (Wilson et al., 2016; Garisch & Wilson, 2010), and whilst the figure among adolescents who attend mental health services in New Zealand remains unknown it is likely to be considerably higher. In spite of being a common behavioural concern among mental health clients, there is little empirical research on effective treatment. In particular, there is a paucity of research into effective treatment of adolescent NSSI; a gap that requires remedy given the high prevalence of NSSI and its association with many subsequent maladaptive outcomes, including suicide. The current paper provides background information on NSSI, information on the assessment of NSSI such as what to include in an assessment interview and possible psychometric instruments, and outlines common strategies and challenges in treatment with adolescents.