Purpose: Despite agreement across disciplines regarding the significance of deliberate self-harm (DSH), there continues to be a lack of consensus regarding what DSH is and is not. The purpose of this literature review was to determine the current state of understanding of this complex phenomenon.
Conclusions: There remains a problem of definitional ambiguity regarding DSH, and a definition derived from the literature is offered. Using Rodger's framework for the evolutionary approach to concept analysis, the attributes, antecedents, and consequences of DSH are developed.
Practice implications: Therapeutic approaches that are based on open-minded, non-judgmental listening and on harm minimization rather than abstinence may be more effective than current treatment approaches that forbid any form of DSH.