Have a kid who is cutting? This is a form of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), and kids suffering from NSSI need to get therapy. To learn the signs, symptoms, and reason, click here. To help navigate the five different stages of the cutting therapy process, here’s what you need to know.
The Cornell Research Program on Self Injury and Recovery has some useful tips for parents trying to walk their kids through the therapy process. Cornell breaks up the therapy process into stages: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Advice for parents at each of these stages follows:
Precontemplation: Don’t insist that self-injury is a problem that needs to be stopped. Instead, work to deeply understand your child’s perception of how it helps. Expect distorted and overly black and white views about the value of self-injury. People in this stage are often likely to feel a sense of futility or to believe that they do not have other options in this stage. It can be hard to hear these but arguing won’t help. Instead, do your best to clearly model healthy living and coping. It will serve you to be patient, to focus on taking care of yourself, to be as compassionate as possible, and to have clear and reasonable expectations and boundaries.