Helping Teens Who Cut
Using DBT Skills to End Self-Injury
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Discovering that your teen “cuts” is every parent's nightmare. Your most urgent question is: “How can I make it stop?” Tens of thousands of worried parents have turned to this authoritative guide for information and practical guidance about the growing problem of teen self-injury. Dr. Michael Hollander is a leading expert on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), the most effective treatment approach for cutting. Vivid stories illustrate how out-of-control emotions lead some teens to hurt themselves, how DBT can help, and what other approaches can be beneficial. You'll learn practical strategies for talking to teens about self-injury without making it worse, teaching them skills to cope with extreme emotions in a healthier way, finding the right therapist, and helping reduce stress for your whole family. Incorporating the latest research, the second edition offers a deeper understanding of the causes of self-injury and includes new DBT skills.
“A reassuring, well-written resource for parents seeking answers, information, and help for a child who self-injures through cutting. While parents of teens who cut is the intended audience, teachers, health-care practitioners, and parents of teens in general may also benefit from the information and sound advice Hollander presents....Hollander offers practical advice to help parents better understand and communicate more effectively with their child. He clearly explains what is known about cutting behavior, addresses its causes, and identifies effective treatment options.”—Library Journal (on the first edition)
“This book debunks myths about cutting and delves deeply into the important information and skills that both teens and parents need to conquer it. Instead of sidelining parents, Dr. Hollander welcomes them into the treatment. He explains how DBT works, how to select and communicate with a therapist, and, best of all, how parents can learn and practice DBT skills along with their kids, for even better results.”—Martha B. Straus, PhD, Department of Clinical Psychology, Antioch University New England
“An invaluable resource for parents!”—Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Director Emeritus, Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, University of Washington; developer of DBT
“This book provides the clearest, most helpful explanation I have ever seen of why teens engage in self-injury—and how parents can help them stop. A 'must read' for parents of teens who cut.”—Matthew K. Nock, PhD, Department of Psychology, Harvard University
“Dr. Hollander's compassion and knowledge stem from years of experience with families. In addition to his lucid explanation of DBT principles, I value his wise suggestions for helping siblings, extended family, friends, and school personnel deal with a teen's self-injury. I recommend this book first to parents struggling to help self-injuring children.”—Barent W. Walsh, PhD, Executive Director, The Bridge of Central Massachusetts
“Dr. Hollander is wise and empathic. In the second edition of his essential book, he provides hopeful, practical treatment recommendations based on the latest science. He gives parents the gift of his insight into a complex and ever-increasing problem.”—Blaise Aguirre, MD, author of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents, Second Edition: What to Do When Your Teen Has BPD
“The rush of emotions and the thoughts that run through your head when you discover that your child self-harms are beyond overwhelming. Dr. Hollander’s book provides an instant blanket of relief—you are not alone, and help is attainable. With unparalleled expertise in DBT, he gives you easy-to-understand strategies that enable you to start helping your child immediately. Dr. Hollander's approach has been instrumental in changing our child’s path in life.”—Lisa L., Belmont, Massachusetts
Table of Contents
Introduction: Kids Who Deliberately Hurt Themselves
I. Understanding Self-Injury
1. Fact versus Fiction: Bringing Self-Injury into the Light
2. What Sets the Stage for Self-Injury?
3. How Does Hurting Themselves Make Some Kids Feel Better?
4. DBT: The Right Therapy for Your Teen
II. Helping Your Teen in Treatment and at Home
5. Making the Most of DBT
6. Resetting the Stage: How to Help Your Teen Restore Emotion to Its Proper Place
7. Writing a Better Script: New Ways to Discourage Self-Injury
8. Taking Care of Yourself to Take Care of Your Teen
9. How to Speak with Siblings, Friends, and the School about Your Child’s Troubles
Appendix A. Effectiveness of Adolescent Intensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
Appendix B. Intensive Treatment Programs
Resources: Websites Related to Self-Injury
About the AuthorMichael Hollander
, PhD, a recognized expert in the treatment of self-injury, has worked with adolescents and their families since 1976. He helped to found the 3East DBT program at McLean Hospitalin Belmont, Massachusetts, where he is currently Director of Training and Senior Consultant. Dr. Hollander is Assistant Professor in the psychiatry faculties of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He trains mental health professionals in DBT worldwide.
Parents who are concerned about a teenager's self-harming behavior. Also of interest to mental health professionals working with adolescents and families.
Previous editions published by Guilford:
First Edition, © 2008