The transition from single digits to double digits can be a tough one for some teens. It is filled with new feelings, new expectations and hormones. There’s a social pressure that may have not been there before and your teen may not know how to cope. Throughout my years of experience, I’ve noticed that the teens I work with tend to have a history of squashing their feelings and by doing so, there comes a point where these feelings ultimately become too much for them to handle. When they lack the skills to manage their emotions it can lead to self-injurious behavior. Self-harm can be in the form of: cutting, burning or other behavior where the intention is to hurt themselves. Here are some tips for helping your teen who is self-harming:
1. Self-harm should never be punished. More often than not, self-harm is a cry for help and not always an attention seeking behavior. Your teen is looking for a way to end their emotional pain and haven’t found a healthier way to do so.
2. Open the lines of communication. It’s important for you teen to feel they can come to you with however they are feeling. Practice compassion and empathy, take what’s happening seriously and ask yourself what you could be doing help to create safety for them to talk to you.
3. Seek professional guidance. Teens who self-harm are often experiencing depression and/or anxiety. It may be time to explore taking them to see a therapist so they can learn and utilize healthy coping skills to replace the self-harming behavior.
Stephanie Savo earned her Master’s Degree in Mental Health counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with extensive experience working with children, adolescents and families providing individual, group and family therapy. Stephanie’s areas of interest include depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger management, parent-adolescent dynamics, trauma and mood management.
In addition to providing therapeutic services Stephanie is a qualified supervisor providing supervision services to registered mental health interns who are working towards licensure.
Stephanie is dedicated to providing a safe and supportive environment for individuals and families who are looking for self-empowerment and to strengthen relationships. She works with her clients to identify their personal strengths and find self-inspired solutions to the problems they experience.
Contact me today for a free consultation and to set up your first appointment. I can be reached at 954.378.5381or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.