About NSSI


The origins of the Institute for NSSI have been in development since 2000. Through a process of research, direct client contact, case consults with fellow professionals, creation of several support groups, delivering over 115 talks on NSSI throughout the U.S. and several countries, development of the Self-Injury Prevention Intervention Program (SIPIP), and the writing of four books, Lori Vann has been driven by the desire to turn the tide on this international epidemic.

Bothered by the lack of resources, myths, misconceptions, stigma, and harassment that those who participate in NSSI receive, Lori knew that there was an unmet need that so many felt that they could not express. A passion to not only save people’s limbs from bodily harm but to also save their lives is the fire that drives the Institute.

With over 60% of those who engage in NSSI also having a history of suicidal ideation or attempts, the need to address this often hidden, shame-filled behavior is critical.

The Vann Tree model, which is the basis of treatment, has shown to be effective not only in helping those who participate in NSSI but also related behaviors or struggles, such as substance misuse, perfectionism, eating disordered behaviors, and trauma.

An easily understood concept that addresses the behavior at the core, or root system, has been used by professionals in private practices, outpatient clinics, psychiatric hospitals, and school districts. Clients and patients who learn of the model have reported light-bulb moments with a change in perspective, mindset, and behaviors.

Throughout the years of working with over 620 clients with a history of NSSI and providing hundreds of case consults, Lori saw the flaws in several treatment models that her clients were exposed to and the consequences of those models. The problem started to be referred to as a “whack-a-mole” method where professionals would focus on the problematic behavior, get remission with it, only to find that a new behavior emerged to take the other behavior’s place. Lori most often saw this with NSSI and eating disordered behaviors or NSSI and substance misuse.

The focus at the Institute for NSSI is to get to the core issues because if you deal with the core, then the need to go from one behavior to another starts to diminish. The goal of the Institute is to not keep people in treatment, it is to help them address the root system of the behavior(s), establish healthier relationships, challenge non-beneficial thinking patterns, and integrate new, healthier coping skills.

The Institute is dedicated to providing update-to-date research on NSSI, collect information from clients as to what processes work and what needs to be adjusted, creating programs & resources that the professional and lay community need, in order to decrease the lifetime risk of someone engaging in NSSI.

The Mission Statement for the Institute for NSSI is dedicated to serving the community by providing easily understood and up-to-date information about NSSI, implementable & proven techniques to treat the behavior, and awareness to stop the stigma by starting conversations & providing resources.

My Vision

My Mission

The Process

My coaching process

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