Clients and staff at a service called Calderstones talked to the authors about self injury.
Clients said that staff do not understand why they self-injure. Some clients feel punished when staff stop them self-injuring. All clients like talking to staff and said that telling their problems to staff helps them. Clients said that they should be allowed self-injure without staff being blamed.
Staff said they feel upset and worried when a client self-injures. They told the authors they would like more training about self-injury. Some staff would like clients to be allowed to self-injure, but don't want to be blamed for a client's injuries.
This paper is the synthesis of two pre-existing studies. It details the experiences of nine people with mild/moderate learning disabilities who self injure, and those who work with them. At the time of this study the participants were living and working in a medium secure unit at Calderstones NHS Trust in Lancashire. A phenomenological approach was used, and during in-depth interviews, the participants gave rich descriptions of their experiences of self injury. The descriptions that emerged from the interviews detailed four main themes: understanding, communication, control and blame.