Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Counselor Education

First Advisor

Amanda Winburn

Second Advisor

Diana Camilo

Third Advisor

Amy Wells Dolan

Relational Format



Elementary-aged children struggle with low self-esteem, are often impulsive, and struggle to develop appropriate coping skills. As such, many children have begun to experiment with self-harm. Because children spend a great deal of time in school, school counselors are often the first to know that a student has self-harmed. Although school counselors have extensive experience working with students who self-harm, most school counselors indicate a need for more training and implementation of school district policies regarding self-harm. Additionally, current literature focuses on the experiences of middle and high school counselors because self-harm and NSSI are primarily noted in adolescents. In order to close the gap in the literature regarding elementary school counselors and self-harm, this study highlighted the experiences of elementary school counselors and their work with students who self-harm, their experiences with training regarding self-harm, and their experiences with school district policies related to self-harm. These experiences were examined through a nation-wide search and one-on-one interviews with twelve elementary school counselors.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.