In the S.A.F.E. office, an interesting discussion arose as what to do with posts that contain graphic descriptions of self injurious behaviors. Should we censor them or let them stand? The lines were drawn; more were for censoring then not. I for one detest most, if not all attempts at censorship. Yet, as many of you know, S.A.F.E Alternatives’ philosophy, which I co-developed, asks our clients to refrain from describing S.I. acts amongst each other.
S.A.F.E. philosophy parted early on from the 12 step model of treatment which focuses on the need to tell and retell one’s story as a constant reminder of how self-destructive behaviors have negatively impacted one’s life. S.A.F.E on the other hand emphasizes the need to understand the issues that led to those behaviors while learning to tolerate and accept ones internal feelings and external environment.
S.A.F.E views self injurious behavior as a choice one makes to rid oneself of
unwanted feelings and/ or thoughts that stem from unresolved issues. We believe that talking about the specific incident of self-injury often serves as a distraction from identifying and exploring the underlying issues. S.A.F.E. clients would often ask the question “If I can’t speak about my self-injury, what am I supposed to talk about?” to which I would respond, “Bingo, welcome to therapy!”
As many of you may know, there are S.I. web sites that actually support and promote self-injury. Others offer simple substitute like solutions that keep the focus on the behavior rather than the reasons behind the behavior. And then there are sites such as NoFEAR-S.A.F.E._Approved at yahoogroups.com that do not tolerate any graphic description of self-injury in an effort to allow their members to enjoy a “graphic free/trigger free zone?”.
I have given a lot of thought to this dilemma and have a couple of ideas that may allow S.A.F.E.’s philosophy to remain pure without having to resort to censorship. However, I want your feedback first; after all, this blog is for you. Our goal is to collaborate in an effort to make this site the place to get healthy, helpful support. So…… let the dialog begin! Karen