Healing Self-Injury: A Compassionate Guide for Parents and Other Loved Ones
Subtle scars disappearing up a shirt sleeve, unexplained bruises, burn marks. As many as one out of every four young people engage in non-suicidal self-injury, defined as the deliberate destruction of body tissue without suicidal intent. Parents who uncover this alarming behavior are gripped by uncertainty and flooded with questions--why is my child doing this? Is this a suicide attempt? What did I do wrong? What can I do to stop it? And yet basic educational resources for parents with self-injuring children are sorely lacking. Healing after Self-Injury provides desperately-needed guidance to parents and others who love a young person struggling with self-injury. First and foremost, adolescent psychologists Janis Whitlock and Elizabeth Lloyd-Richardson believe that parents must appreciate how important their role is in their child's recovery; there is a lot that parents can do to support their self-injuring children. This book offers strategies for identifying and alleviating sources of distress in children's lives, improving family communication (particularly around emotions), and seeking professional help. Importantly, it also provides compassionate advice to parents with personal challenges of their own, explaining how these can impact the entire family. The book will help parents partner with their children to identify, build, and use skills that will assist them in recovering from self-injury. Vivid anecdotes drawn from the authors' extensive in-depth interviews with real families in recovery from self-injury put a human face on what for many families is a distressing and often isolating experience. Healing after Self-Injury is a must-have for parents who want to assist in their child's recovery, as well as for anyone who lives with, works with, or cares about self-injuring youth and their families.