Mindfulness as a Psychological Approach to Managing Self-Harming Behaviours: Application and Review within Clinical Settings

Hannah Thew, Danielle McDermott, Dominic Willmott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Given the prevalence of suicide and self-harm throughout global societies, the need to more readily manage associated behaviours is of central importance. Particularly as in many countries and cultures harmful acts towards oneself remain a prosecutable crime if the person in crisis survives. Yet despite once constituting a novel approach, mindfulness techniques within clinical settings have rapidly grown in popularity and become an integral component of behavioural regulation and management. Recognising the potential benefits of mindful techniques including increased self-awareness and enhanced coping strategies, application of the technique has now been widely used as a tool to help individuals desist from engaging in deliberate self-harm and experiencing suicidal ideations. Addressing the need for a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of mindfulness applications within clinical settings as an approach to managing self-harming behaviours, the present exploration concludes mindfulness techniques are an appropriate intervention but ongoing evaluation is required to provide greater clarity in explaining the specific link to effective emotional management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalCrime, Security and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2018


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