This is a book for clinicians who specialize in helping trauma survivors and, through the course of treatment, find themselves unexpectedly confronted with client disclosures of self-destructive behaviors, including self-mutilation and other manifestations of deliberating "hurting the body" such as bingeing, purging, starving, substance abuse and other addictive behaviors.
Arguing that standard safety contracts are not effective, the book introduces viable treatment alternatives, assessment tools, and new ways of understanding self-destructive behavior using a strengths-based approach that distinguishes between the "experimental" NSSI (non-suicidal self-injury) that some teenagers occasionally engage in, and the self-destructive behaviors that are repetitive and chronic. It also explores a cycle of behavior and uses case studies to show clinicians how to personalize the cycle with clients and form a template for treatment. In its final sections the book focuses on counter-transferential responses and the different ways in which therapists can work with self-destructive behaviors and avoid vicarious traumatization by adopting tools and strategies for self-care.
--- from the publisher
Table of Contents:
Understanding Self-destructive Behaviors. Towards a New Understanding of Self-destructive Behaviors. The Meta-communication of Self-destructive Behaviors. The Strengths-based Approach. The Dynamics of Trauma: Looking at “Where They’ve Come From.” Self-destructive Behaviors in a Developmental and Trauma Context. Working with Self-destructive Behaviors. The Cycle of Self-destruction. Identifying “Intervention Sites.” Incorporating Creative Treatment Modalities. CARESS: Alternative Contracting. Helping Others While Helping Ourselves. Counter-transferential Responses. Vicarious Traumatization. Common Clinical Pitfalls. Strategies for Self-care.