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Adolescent self-harming behavior is on the rise.
Mental health professionals and affiliated professionals in schools are seeing more and more adolescents who cut and burn themselves, abuse alcohol and drugs, have eating disorders, or who engage in excessive risk taking. Yet the literature on this behavior remains scant. Matthew Selekman provides readers with a comprehensive, highly practical approach to working with this challenging group of clients. Working with Self-Harming Adolescents offers readers effective guidelines for how parents can prevent and constructively manage self-harming episodes, discusses the major aggravating factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of this problem among youth, and offers an integrative and flexible solution-oriented approach for treatment. Another important feature of this book is the innovative, skill-based Stress-Busters’ Leadership Group, which can be run in schools or any treatment setting.
Posted April 24, 2006
Mr. Selekman's book is a decent resource for the novice clinician who decides to work with the self-harming adolescent population. While Mr. Selekman's long term experience can provide us with lots of interesting hypotheses on what works and what doesn't in this field, it might also get us immersed in a sea of conjecture. Psychology and psychiatry are after all based on speculation! While it might be fun to share success stories, Mr. Selekman's case studies presented a great illustration of his skills and ability, which might also greatly benefit his private practice. The reality is that what works for one individual might not work for another. This book might be helpful for some parents and for uninformed self-absorbed therapists that allow their own issues to interfere with the progress of their clients (as Mr. Selekman implied in one of his chapters). Mr. Selekman's arguments could sound very convincing at times, especially when he has backed them up with some ancient studies (i.e. from 1975, 1981, p.3, 1989, p.153 etc.) and few recent ones.Interestingly, the studies were well positioned to fit into his theory of practice and/or style of treatment. His book will provide the reader with some helpful insights and tips as well as some creative interventions that might work with the self-harming adolescent. However, Mr. Selekman has failed to address the key issue of implementation of his interventions in an outpatient setting. Implementation could face many major obstacles that can render treatment futile. Implementation is extremely difficult in an outpatient setting due to the patient's lack of compliance, lack of ability, and unchanged environmental factors. Consistent implementation of interventions, in addition to compliance constitutes the core element for a successful treatment outcome. Finally, this book does not offer anything new however, it will provide the reader with an over-priced body of literature that delves into the reasons behind self-injurious behavior.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.