Author(s): Kay Inckle
A book of research-based stories about self-injury. It explores the meaning and purpose of self-injury in an individual's life; the experiences that might lead to self-injury; and which approaches and responses to self-injury are helpful and which are not. It is intended to be a resource for people who hurt themselves and for those who live and work with them. Experiences of self-injury from service-users and service providers - as well as people who were both and neither - are retold through fictionalised characters. Using fictional characters and creative writing strategies protects the anonymity of all of those involved but at the same time allows an in-depth representation of the 'real-life' inner-worlds, emotions and experiences of the protagonists. The 'moral' of the tales in this book point towards the need for a holistic and person-centred understanding of self-injury and one which focuses on harm-reduction rather than prevention. The stories challenge the stigmatising view of self-injury as something 'mad' or 'bad' to be prevented at all costs.
They highlight the importance of understanding the complexity of each individual and their relationship with self-injury alongside practices which offer acceptance and support across the breadth and depth of someone's needs. The book also contains three factual appendices to provide more direct information to the reader: the harm-reduction appendix, the methodological appendix and the resources appendix. There is also a bibliography of readings which includes a vast range of self-injury and harm-reduction related publications which are touched on in the stories.
Dr Kay Inckle lectures in qualitative research methods and ethics in the School of Social Work and Social Policy in Trinity College Dublin where she specialises in qualitative research methods and eithics, and where she has also established a certificate course in understanding and responding to self-injury from a harm-reduction ethos. Her work with self-injury spans a range of experience including as a social care practitioner, as a PhD and post-doctoral researcher, as a trainer to service providers, as a lecturer, academic and activist. Her work is informed by her pursuit of theory, research and practice which manifest alternative, non-exploitative ways of knowing and being. Her own training company is called Kreative Interventions
Acknowledgements Preface Introduction Faggot Trust Me: 1 (First Time) Flashback One Normal In Between Flashback Two Trust Me: 2 (Second Chance) Broken Flashback Three Trust Me: 3 (Third Time Lucky) Cathy and Heathcliffe 1999 A Thousand Epilogues The House of Smiles Appendix One: Harm-Reduction Appendix Two: Methodology Appendix Three: Resources Bibliography