particularly when it accompanies--as it almost always does--bulimia, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, and/or family crises. In fact, self-injury has become the 21st-century’s self-soothing drug of choice for lots of kids--the only method they have for numbing emotional pain. In this workshop, we’ll focus on how to engage these often highly resistant kids and teach them alternative strategies, like using mindfulness meditation, expressive writing, and music to soothe themselves and feel safe, so they needn’t resort to self-injury. In addition, we’ll describe how to help parents prevent and constructively handle self-injury by listening to, validating, and physically soothing their kids (including creating “chill-out rooms” for stressed adolescents), and how to assist parents to keep their cool when self-injury does occur.
Matthew Selekman, M.S.W., codirector of Partners for Collaborative Solutions, is the author The Adolescent and Young Adult Self-Harming Treatment Manual: A Collaborative Strengths-Based Brief Therapy Approach and Pathways to Change: Brief Therapy with Difficult Adolescents.