CEU Course Details


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Pain Threshold and Tolerance among Non-Suicidal Self Injurers

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Course Description: This course is based upon material published in the American Psychological Association and is available as an open access article.

Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), which refers to self-directed destruction of bodily tissue in the absence of suicidal intent (e.g., cutting, carving, burning) is a widespread health concern. Recent research suggests that individuals who engage in NSSI have heightened tolerances for pain relative to noninjurers, but little attention has been given to how self-injurers overcome the pain involved in self-directed injury. Understanding the process through which self-injurers tolerate pain, however, may have important implications for prevention and intervention efforts, as heightened tolerance for pain has been associated with increased suicidal risk. In the present study, we addressed this gap in the literature by examining whether self-punishment motivations for engaging in NSSI were associated with increased pain thresholds and tolerances among 82 undergraduate students (i.e., 31 self-injurers with self-punishment motivations, 25 self-injurers without self-punishment motivations, 26 age-matched controls). Following a stressful task, self-injurers who engaged in NSSI to self-punish tolerated pain significantly longer and rated this pain as less aversive than self-injurers without self-punishment motivations and the comparison group of noninjurers. Our findings, therefore, suggest that willingness to tolerate painful stimulation may be an important part of the self-injury experience among individuals who engage in NSSI to self-punish. Moreover, our findings suggest that motivational factors underlying NSSI should be integrated into theories on the link between NSSI and pain sensitivity

This course on nonsuicidal self-injury is designed for social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, nurses, and substance abuse counselors, who do clinical work.  This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of pain tolerance among nonsuicidal self-injurers. The course material includes a brief literature review of the study conducted addressing the gap in literature by examining whether self-punishment motivations for engaging in NSSI, and how they are associated with increased suicidal risk..  It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal.  

Authors:  Hamza, Willoughby, Armiento

Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding nonsuicidal self-injurers. Specifically, a professional will:

  • Describe how self-injurers overcome the pain involved in self-directed injury.

  • Identify the process through which self-injurers tolerate pain and its link to suicide,

  • Recognize the association between NSSI and pain.

Citation:  Hamza, C. A., Willoughby, T., Armiento, J., (2014). A Laboratory Examination of Pain Threshold and Tolerance among Nonsuicidal Self-Injurers with and Without Self-Punishing Motivations. American Psychological Association. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/arc0000008. Reviewed by TM DiDona, PhD 2018 and found to be current.  For a full list of current references, please Click Here


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This Ce-Classes.com course is approved for CE credit by:

  • Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Ce-Classes.com, Provider #1142, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Ce-Classes.com maintains responsibility for this course. ASWB Approval Period: 1/5/2020-1/5/2023
  • This course is NOT available for NBCC credit.

  • The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling Provider #852 BAP-Expires 3/31/2023
  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences, BBS, recognizes relevant course work/training that has been approved by nationally recognized certifying bodies, such as APA, to satisfy renewal requirements.
  • California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) Provider Number OS-12-147-0223 Expires 2-2023
  • The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners – CE-Classes.com meets the requirements for acceptable continuing education
  • The Texas Board of Professional Counselors – CE-Classes.com meets the requirements for acceptable continuing education
  • Massachusetts Authorization Number: 1358
  • Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board – Provider # RCST031201
  • New York Social Work Board – Ce-Classes.com is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0120.

  • The Florida Board of Nursing (CE Provider #: 50-4896) Expires 10/31/2022 Do not send certificates to the Florida Board of Nursing. You must keep this certificate for 4 years.
  • The California Board of Registered Nursing. CEP 15647 Expires 11/30/2022.

This course is Non Interactive .

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