Cutting

( 35 )

Overview

A seminal work on treating self-mutilation, revised and updated with illuminating case studies and newly available resources.
Nearly a decade ago, Cutting boldly addressed a traumatic psychological disorder now affecting as many as two million Americans and one in fifty adolescents. More than that, it revealed self-mutilation as a comprehensible, treatable disorder, no longer to be evaded by the public and neglected by professionals. Using copious examples from his practice, ...

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Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation

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Overview

A seminal work on treating self-mutilation, revised and updated with illuminating case studies and newly available resources.
Nearly a decade ago, Cutting boldly addressed a traumatic psychological disorder now affecting as many as two million Americans and one in fifty adolescents. More than that, it revealed self-mutilation as a comprehensible, treatable disorder, no longer to be evaded by the public and neglected by professionals. Using copious examples from his practice, Steven Levenkron traces the factors that predispose a personality to self-mutilation: genetics, family experience, childhood trauma, and parental behavior. Written for sufferers, parents, friends, and therapists, Cutting explains why the disorder manifests in self-harming behaviors and describes how patients can be helped.

"...explains why this disorder, which affects as many as two million Americans, manifests itself in self-harming behavior...describes treatment options for the self- mutilator."

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Editorial Reviews

Salon
“Casts an eye on the emotional pains behind a dark adolescent practice.”
New England Journal of Medicine
“Levenkron understands well the need for sharing basic information about this taboo subject as well as strategies for treatments. As a therapist who has worked with this problem for more than twenty years, he has much to offer.... Well written and engaging, [Cutting] educates the reader about a subject on which too little has been written.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The psychotherapist whose books (including the novel The Best Little Girl in the World) have illuminated the nature and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anorexia nervosa and bulimia now shines the spotlight on another misunderstood behavioral disorder: self-mutilation. Levenkron begins by advising desensitization to the disturbing wounds, scars and blood-letting patients inflict upon themselves, redirecting focus toward the underlying issues. He likens cutting to OCD in that it is a compulsive act meant to relieve unbearable emotional pain, and to eating disorders in that it is a method of seizing control. Like anorexics, most cutters are girls, unable to express anger toward others, instead turning it against themselves. Levenkron is careful to explain that cutting is not the same as body piercing or tattooing, which reflect "adolescent trendiness," and that cutters are not suicidal, their wounds life-threatening only rarely and accidentally. Cutting is done secretly, "usually in a trancelike state," and "the act of creating pain... or drawing blood, is in itself the goal." Cutters then develop an "addiction" to this method of exchanging physical pain for emotional pain. With many examples from his practice, Levenkron provides clear and comprehensive information on the causes and effective treatments of this mysterious disorder, specific advice for therapists and an encouraging sense of hope for patients and their families. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393319385
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 276,078
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Levenkron is a psychotherapist and the author of seven previous books, including Cutting and The Anatomy of Anorexia. He lives and practices in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Preface 9
Acknowledgments 13
Ch. 1 What Is Self-Mutilation? 22
Ch. 2 The Phenomenon of a Self-Destructive Act 31
Ch. 3 Who Is the Self-Mutilator? 40
Ch. 4 The Reactions of Others 59
Ch. 5 How the Disorder Takes Shape 72
Ch. 6 How and Why the Disorder Deepens 83
Ch. 7 Attachment Patterns 93
Ch. 8 The Benefits of Self-Wounding 104
Ch. 9 The Value of Pain in Our Culture 113
Ch. 10 The Family System 125
Ch. 11 Incest and Other Childhood Abuse: Fusing Pain with Security 138
Ch. 12 A Perspective on Change 153
Ch. 13 Reaching Out to Reach In 161
Ch. 14 Who Can Be the Helpers? 174
Ch. 15 Bumps Along the Road 185
Ch. 16 Caught Between Symptom and Attachment 198
Ch. 17 Moving Backwards to Recovery 211
Ch. 18 Achieving Genuine Communication with Others 225
Ch. 19 Analyzing and Confronting the Past 238
Epilogue 253
Recommended Readings on Self-Mutilation 255
Other Resources 257
Index 259
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2007

    A great book

    This book helped me to understand alot of things about myself. For years i would hurt myself and not understand why. I highly recommend this book for anyone who self mutilates or anyone who wants to really understand it. The author uses examples from his own patients that you can really relate to. It's a great book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    i have been a cutter for almost two years and i have been through counceling and meds. it helped for awhile but then i turned back to cutting. those of you who gave the book a bad review who are 16 or 15..whatever. i am 16 too but people cut for many differant reasons. just because this book did not help you doesnt mean it wont help others. so really think before you give it a bad review. everybody is differant and cut for MANY differant reasons. i just ordered this book and im very excited to read it, i think even looking at cutting from a differant point of view will help people understand more. please feel free to email me with questions or opinions.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2007

    Completely Incorrect...

    This book was truly dissapointing to me. From experience, I know what cutting is like. It is not done in 'a trance-like state'. It is done in a perfectly clear-minded state, and the ultimate goal is not as the author says. Pain is not the goal, it is the release from emotional pain. An escape from the wounds of depression is the far more common reason to resort to this action. I think the author has no idea what it is like to cut, and a book this personal should be written from experience. It would present a more realistic and understanable veiw for the reader.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2002

    Wasn't too great of a read

    This book was extreming disapointing when I first picked it up and read it. I had to FORCE myself to finish(actually I stopped 75% of it) It wasn't to wonderful of a read, pretty boring, and I disagree with his insisting that self injurying is the result of childhood trauma and that every cutter cannot feel the pain and are in a somewhat dissociative state(or wholely in one). He states ALL cutters have been abused either sexually, physically, or emotional(and he empathsizes servely..) which isn't always the case. He forgets about men who injury themselves(even if it is more commonly found amongst girls) What also got to me with the whole past trauma episodes - not all cutters are traumatized when they were a child and their self destructive behavior is a result of present day situations during life. I was extremely disapointed with his lack of research and biased opinions. If you are looking a wonderful read on self mutilation buy the book 'A Bright Red Scream: Self Mutilation and the Language of Pain' by Marliee Strong. A really informative book. I'd give it 5 stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2008

    Cant wait to read this book!

    I have been a 'cutter' for almosrt 4 years now. It has been one rocky rollercoaster for me through the years. So many people tell me to get help and that I need it and that I know I do too but that doesnt mean I want it. Yeahh it kills me to hurt the people around me...but they dont know the pain I am going through either. I want to read this book because it seems like it will give me a better understanding of my problem and it will maybe give me hope and will to stop. I wanted to read the reviews first before I bought it. Im gonna buy it now. Thanks soo much to the author who wrote this book and is actually out there acknowledging that this problem is spreading world wide! Thank you soo much!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    my name is none of your buisnes

    i am upset with some of the other reviews. i thought the book was pretty informative. i could never tell you why i cut myself. i cried about it for years. the fact that my own family members couldn't look me in the eye because they were afraid of me. it scared them because they couldn't understand why one would want to inflict pain on themselves. it was incredibly discouraging because i didn't understand it either but i couldn't get away from myself. the book gives me hope.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    I used to cut alot

    I used to cut but it really does not get you anywhere i mean all it does is make people scared of you and hurts you i am a cutter and i mean i have tryed to stop bit i cant i have been cutting since i have been 13 and i tell you may at the moment fix the promblem but not always i have cut over a guy which i you should never do anyway because that person will not care i learned that . He knows and he still dosent care so yah but i mean if you cut it is not a bad thing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2014

    I used to

    I cut for a while. But i stopped. Dont wory.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    To below

    Please dont do it if u feel alone u can talk to me,my friend does it so I get it please u can talk to me if u want

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    I need help

    Im so pissed off right now. I have a piece of a soda can in my hand now. I want to do it but ive stopped for so long. Please help. I dont wanna do it but i cant take it anymore

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    It kept me interested throughout the book. It wasn't dry or dens

    It kept me interested throughout the book. It wasn't dry or dense as other books I've read on cutting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    This book is not representative of the current state of adolesce

    This book is not representative of the current state of adolescent cutters.  Repeatedly throughout the book blame was placed on childhood/parents.  There were statements such as "healthy parenting does not produce a self-mutilating child".  I would hope that most therapists and parents realize that even in a healthy environment--by that I mean average--free of abuse, neglect, divorce or financial troubles--cutting behaviors can develop.  Attempting to attribute the cause to childhood overlooks the power of peer/school issues even in the face of strong parental support.  Cutting can occur in any household as a result of internal feelings of the cutter.  There was much good information in this book but the repeated references made it seem out of touch with the current rise in the behavior.  The book focused heavily on dually diagnosed or other more serious conditions.  The reader who is looking to gain insight into someone who for no obvious reason engages in this behavior will be disappointed.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent resource

    Dr. Levonkron seems to have unending reserves of patience, understanding, and knowledge for self-injurers and those who love them. I was comforted and empowered by his book. As the friend of a self-injurer, Cutting pointed out to me the character traits she needs from me, and how I should interpret her behavior. An excellent book that should be read by parents, teachers, teenagers, and mental health professionals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2009

    Very Easy Read

    I read this book because of my daughter. I am not a cutter but she is. Before I read the book I thought "how could she do this to herself. I used to make her promise me that she wouldn't hurt herself anymore. The book did desensitize me in a way to cutting...it had desensitize me so that I could help her. I now have a new perspective on her cutting and can talk about it openly with her. My biggest pet peeve is when people tell me that she does it for attention. This has nothing to do with attention, this has to do with real psycological pain. And it is my job, as a parent, to give my daugther the tools to deal with that pain and alternatives to cutting that give her the same release.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Good Overall Information About Cutting

    I originally bought this book for my own use in trying to understand why I cut and some of the ways to avoid cutting. I ended up using this as a key resouce in writing a speech to give and most recently, I decided to be more open with my folks about some of the challenges I face. This book is a great one for a cutter to read, but also to give to people that care about you as an insight to who you are. My folks are know much more understanding and have a better idea of some of the things I struggle with.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2007

    Waste

    I know how it is to deal with the feeling of cutting and this book is nothing close to it.It's nothing but a bunch of opinions from the authors.Cutting has to deal with emotions and you clearly know what you're doing when you do it. Save you're money if you're expecting some sort of answer.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    I think teens who SI should read this book. I know from experience it's NOT a good thing to do. Teens should read this book, because they'll learn how to cope with the pressure. It's sad to see someone do that at a young age. Luckily, in this book, it tells what could happen if they keep cutting themselves. Hopefully, after they read this book, they'll get help and stop.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    Great!!

    This book helped me and my parents understand this disorder alot more. Very well written and quite easy to understand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2006

    This is a powerful novel.

    I loved reading this book even though it honestly wasn't the lovliest. It deals with the reality of someone with this disease and the hardships they go through along with it. I admire Levenkron for being honest and clearly stating his opinions on the matter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2006

    Hope to read this book soon!!!

    From just reading the other comments it seems like such a deep and truley great book. I can't wait until i find the time to read it. I'm thirteen years old and i have cutt before and still am going through it at this very point in time. I hope by reading this book it will help me get through what i'm going through right now. I truely need some inpiration to help myself along the way! it's been hard since the begining and i don't know how it's going to be frome here. i never wanted to start cutting it just kind of happened. Hopefully this will help me. thank you!!!!!!!

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