Occupational Therapy for Non-Suicidal Self-Injury

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with non-suicidal self-injury. 

We are a registered NDIS provider and use an inclusive approach to therapy, where the person can be in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

How can occupational therapy benefit people with non-suicidal self-injury?

A mental health occupational therapist is different from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Mental health occupational therapists look at how your condition affects the functional aspects of your life and work with you on ways to improve this.

Occupational therapy can benefit people with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in several ways. Here are some of the ways in which occupational therapy can be beneficial:

1. Developing Coping Skills: Occupational therapists can work with individuals who engage in NSSI to develop alternative coping skills and strategies. They can teach relaxation techniques, stress management strategies, and provide tools for emotion regulation. Occupational therapists can also explore meaningful activities and hobbies that can serve as healthier outlets for emotional expression or distractions to prevent self-injury.

2. Enhancing Emotional Regulation: NSSI is often associated with difficulty in regulating emotions. Occupational therapists can employ various therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or sensory-based interventions, to help individuals identify and manage their emotional states effectively.

3. Developing Problem-Solving Skills: Occupational therapists can assist individuals in identifying triggers and underlying problems that contribute to their self-injurious behaviors. They can work on developing problem-solving skills and alternative strategies to address those issues more effectively, reducing the need for self-harm.

4. Enhancing Self-Esteem and Identity: Engaging in positive and meaningful activities can help individuals build a sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and self-identity. Occupational therapists can assist individuals in exploring, discovering, and engaging in activities that promote self-esteem, self-expression, and self-discovery.

5. Improving Occupational Functioning: Self-injury can impact occupational functioning, such as school or work performance, daily self-care, and social interactions. Occupational therapists can assess and address these functional limitations by providing strategies and accommodations to support individuals in their desired roles and activities.

6. Providing a Safe Therapeutic Space: Occupational therapists create a safe and non-judgmental therapeutic environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to NSSI. This can facilitate healing, exploration, and growth.

7. Collaborating with a Multidisciplinary Team: Occupational therapists work collaboratively with other professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors, to ensure comprehensive care and a holistic approach to addressing NSSI.

It is important to note that occupational therapy is just one aspect of a comprehensive treatment plan for NSSI, and individuals should work with a team of professionals to receive appropriate care and support.

Occupational therapy assessments for non-suicidal self-injury

We are able to provide many types of occupational therapy assessments online, including Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA) and reports required for the NDIS. Please see this article for more information on assessments we can provide.

NDIS registered provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and work with self-managed, plan-managed and agency-managed clients. 


If your are an NDIS provider or support coordinator we can provide reliable occupational therapy for clients with non-suicidal self-injury in any location. Refer a client and we’ll connect you to the right clinician. 

Is online occupational therapy effective?

Yes! A growing body of evidence shows that online delivery of therapy can be as effective as face to face. Online therapy has many other benefits too, including being convenient and accessible for people in regional and rural areas.  

How does online occupational therapy work?

At Umbo online therapy is not just zoom plus business-as-usual. It’s much more diverse than simply videoconferencing. Umbo therapists provide an individualised approach to each person, using the latest evidence, and a variety of technologies and engagement techniques.

Umbo champions person-centred therapy. It means the person and their family/support people leads the conversation. We believe that the most effective therapy occurs when support is given in the environment where the person lives, learns, works or plays. Therefore we work with the family, and teach skills to you or to other supporters. This means you’re achieving real-life goals, rather than just achieving goals in a clinic.

We are a certified social enterprise helping Australian families access allied health services.