Before and after questions

Take some time to understand what’s happening and what you really want. Urges are not the same as taking action, it is possible to delay hurting yourself and things will change.

* how will this situation or feeling change if i hurt myself?
* what will hurting myself bring to the situation? what will it take away from the situation?
* how do i want to feel about this in the long run? is hurting myself likely to get me closer to or farther away from feeling that way?
* if hurting myself seems like my best option right now, how long will the relief it brings last? what will i do than?
* what is something i could do now instead of hurting myself? how will it change the situation i’m in? how long will that change last, and what will i do then?
* how will i feel tomorrow if i hurt myself? how will i feel tomorrow if i do the other thing i came up with?
* what do i really want to do right now? how can i best honor the self-protective instinct that has me wanting to self-injure right now?

* have you taken care of your physical wounds? if not, go do that now. we’ll wait.
* what had happened just before?
* what were you thinking and feeling?
* why did you end up hurting yourself then instead of some other time? was there an event that was the final straw? what was it?
* how did the situation get to the final straw stage? trace it back through the events that led up to the last event. look for some point at which you could have made a different decision and not arrived at the final straw?
* were there ouside factors like drugs, alcohol, being off your meds, lack of sleep etc? can you address those in the future? how?
* what other ways of coping did you try besides self-harm? how well did they work?
* in retrospect, are there coping methods that you now realize might have helped? what were they?
* name at least two things you will do to help yourself remember those coping methods if you end up in this situation again.
* how do you feel about the situation that led to self-harm now? is it resolved? if not, what are some steps you might take toward resolution?
* are you likely to be in that emotional place again? how will you recognize it when you’re in that situation?
* what will you try before you resort to self-harm if you’re in that situation again? list three specific things you will commit to trying.