Who We Are and What We Do

We are researchers working at the University of Leeds, working on two related projects to deliver talking therapy (also known as ‘psychological therapy’) in the NHS for people who self-harm.

We’d like to find out whether therapy can help people who self-harm. Research can help us understand how this might happen.  We believe in the saying, “nothing about us, without us”. This means a project about self-harm needs input from people who know what this can be like.

The Research Projects

The projects we are working on are called FReSH START and SafePIT.

SafePIT will look at therapy for people who have started to self-harm recently. This project will provide participants with a brief course of therapy, specifically PIT (Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy). The project is interested in seeing if this brief therapeutic intervention can reduce future self-harm in these individuals.

FReSH START is slightly different, and is aimed at people who harm themselves more often. In this project, participants will be given one of three possible therapies, PIT (Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy), CBT (Coginitive Behavioural Therapy) or ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Each of these therapies has been specifically adapted for self-harm, using the FReSH START approach. This approach focuses on the functions of self-harm and understanding the meaning of self-harm for the individual.

The Lived Experience Group

We are setting up a group of people with lived experience of self-harm. Up to 15 people will become members of a ‘lived experience group’, which is a very important part of the research team.

This group will meet every 6 months, although we do not expect you to attend every meeting if you are unable to. Our researchers will attend every meeting, and will start by telling you about the progress of each project and what we hope to do. You will have the chance to give your opinion on how the research is progressing, and help us to plan the next steps.

We might also hold some in-person workshop meetings in the future. We will choose a venue that is most convenient to the group, and you will be given payment to cover any travel expenses.

If you would like to be involved, but do not wish to attend meetings, please do still get in touch. We are happy to receive feedback and input over the phone, via email or however you prefer to be involved.

How to Get in Touch

If you are interested, or would just like to speak to the research team a little more about what joining the group would involve, please contact:

Kate and Cara by text/call: 07935208488
Or email: freshstart@leeds.ac.uk