Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Group therapy does not reduce repeated deliberate self-harm in adolescents

Statistics from



Using a method that replicates a previous trial,1 does group therapy prevent repeat deliberate self-harm in adolescents?


72 adolescents aged 12–16 years (mean age 14 years, 91% female) with a minimum of two reported episodes of self-harm in the last year, with one in the last 3 months. All participants had been referred to child and adolescent mental health services. Self-harm included cutting (97%), head banging (71%), medication overdose (57%), smothering (36%), strangling (25%), other poisoning (19%), attempted drowning (19%), jumping from a height (17%) and other self-harm (35%). Main exclusions: unable to attend groups, acute psychosis, intensive treatment required due to danger of imminent self-harm or unlikely to benefit from group intervention.


Community based adolescent mental health services in Newcastle, Brisbane North and Logan, Australia; time period not stated.


The intervention comprises elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), social skills training, interpersonal psychotherapy and group psychotherapy. Weekly group sessions lasting 1 h were held for 6 weeks. These initial sessions were oriented around family problems, anger management, depression and self-harm, relationships, school and peer relationships, and hopelessness and …

View Full Text


  • Sources of funding American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


  • Competing interests None

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles