Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.


by Steven Levenkron, Levenkron
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393319385
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/28/1999
Edition description: REV
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 290,298
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 What Is Self-Mutilation?
Chapter 2 The Phenomenon of a Self-Destructive Act
Chapter 3 Who Is the Self-Mutilator?
Chapter 4 The Reactions of Others
Chapter 5 How the Disorder Takes Shape
Chapter 6 How and Why the Disorder Deepens
Chapter 7 Attachment Patterns
Chapter 8 The Benefits of Self-Wounding
Chapter 9 The Value of Pain in Our Culture
Chapter 10 The Family System
Chapter 11 Incest and Other Childhood Abuse: Fusing Pain with Security
Chapter 12 A Perspective on Change
Chapter 13 Reaching Out to Reach In
Chapter 14 Who Can Be the Helpers?
Chapter 15 Bumps Along the Road
Chapter 16 Caught Between Symptom and Attachment
Chapter 17 Moving Backwards to Recovery
Chapter 18 Achieving Genuine Communication with Others
Chapter 19 Analyzing and Confronting the Past
Recommended Readings on Self-Mutilation
Other Resources

Customer Reviews

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Cutting 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
LizabeeAK More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
MeditationesMartini on LibraryThing 10 months ago
It's always a bit hard to objectively rate a book when you've gone to it looking for help and all you've found is information. Or at least, maybe just the wrong kind of information, and it's not as if the information here hasn't been helpful--it's helped me pretty solidly establish that I (who has been struggling with some dark thoughts and tendencies of late) really don't fit the classic profile of a "cutter" (how come we can't say 'retard' but we can say that? I prefer 'person who cuts themself'); that the reasons they cut don't match the reasons I've been having these urges*; that the relief they get from the practice doesn't match the pain I've been feeling about these urges; and that the programme of treatment laid out by Levenkron, of establishing the therapist as a "friendly, bossy" authority figure with whom the sufferer can identify and whom they will want to please enough to stop cutting, then gradually reconstituting their personality and ability to tend to their own emotional needs through talk and self-examination, doesn't match me either--if anything, my personality is TOO strong and integrated, and has difficulty with those parts of itself that can neither be expelled nor integrated. Not gonna just roll over and do what a therapist tells me, for good and ill. But Levenkron did leave me feeling like cutting or precutting isn't what's going oon with me, which was a service.

So, objectively, then? This book is a sensitive look at the classic profile of a person who cuts (abused by parents, totally untrusting of the world, thrown back on inadequate resources to deal with their pain); the reasons they cut (relief from emotional pain in physical pain); and a programme of treatment about which I have mixed feelings--the thing of telling them what they're going to be, and especially the way Levenkron represents it in his little heuristic dialogues in the text, strikes me as reprehensible from a, like, existential-freedom perspective--help me get better WITHOUT taking away my autonomy, healer, or you're just doing me new injury. And you can't expect some psychologist to have an ear for the rhythm of dialogue, but the toca-toca challenge-and-response dynamic Levenkron sets up in what are undoubtedly composed or at least heavily massaged "real life" exchanges also troubles--all he has to do is say one obvious thing, once, and they all cry and say "nobody's ever said that to me before", and then they are his. There's something eeever so slightly Svengali, or even BDSM, in his comfort with cajoling people into handing over their autonomy and then remaking them, that in the context of self-mutilation can't help but feel sick and sad. But he does stress that this programme isn't meant for everybody, just for cutters, who have already lost their autonomy to their habit; so maybe I'm not qualified to judge. After all, I'm not a cutter.

If you have someone in your life who has fallen prey to "this dark adolescent practice" (adolescent only?), this book, read with a critical spirit, could plausibly be valuable orientation.*And if you find this coy, or worry, don't, in both cases; I'm not cutting and never have, I'm talking to a psychologist about this darkness, and I'd just rather not discuss it here and now beyond the necessary to write an honest review.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This time right no because of a boy hi initis r forevr with me in my atm i love him and he knows I exsist but hes my bffs brother what do i do?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe add more commas (,) and little dots at the top (apostrophes) (')? Also capital letters!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well here i am in school hopping Lisa was sick or left town or wouldnt notice me but nope there she is at her locker which happens to be next to mine thanks principle. I walked to my locker and noticed that somone had stuck a peice of paper on it that said "You are really still a live b*tch thaought you would be dead!" I knew it was not Elizabeth i knew her writing all to tell but i knew it was a girls writing then it hit me litterally. Lisa Johnson had come up behind me and pushed my head into my locker which was closed "Owww" i yelled in pain trying not to cry ,hey Lisa Johnson is a stong girl and she used all of her strenghth to push my head into th locker. <p> "Aww look at the poor baby go cry to daddy that th mean girls tapped you. Wait a moment you can't the law killed him." Lisa snickered with her group of perfect girls behind her <p> "Come on Lisa you know it wasn't the cops who killed her dad it was cancer." One of the perfect girls, Sara i think, said much to my suprise. <p> "Really Sara why are you standing up for the b*tch?" Lisa snareled at Sara a girl about 5'9 with blond hair and blue eyes who was wearing jeans and a desighner blouse <p> "Well unlike like you i remember that Lena was part of our group and that she helped YOU out in a bad time." Sara said i honestly cant believe she remembered that it was when we were in like 3 grade when Lisa's parents went through a divorce. <p> "Well then if you think she is so great why dont YOU be her friend but that would mean no more hanging out with us and be on the receiving end of this and you know what else." Lisa snapped back she did not like being reminded that i was once with their group. Just then the warning bell rang and the Perfect Squad ran off to get to their different classes well all of then except Sara. <p> "Hey you know that Lisa was wrong about the comment about your dad and what she wrote on the note right?" Sara asked me with conceren. <p> "Yeah i guess but why are you suddenly so brave about standing up to Lisa" i said caousiously as i quickly took down the note syuffed it in the locker and grabbed my books. <p> "Well two things one i realised that what my sister had been doing was wrong and two i found the God you were always talking about" Sara said right before she ducked into her class. I moved quickly and had jsut sat down when the final bell rang but i wasnt paying attention to class i was thinking about the last thing Sara had said sid she really just say she got saved. <p> <p> *~Mended heart~* &#12485 yep thts it again this chapter probably makes no sense but just wait it will i just thought you guys might want a glimps into Lena's past even if it was confusing also if you did se it Lisa and Sara are twins also Elizabeth is like the second in comand of the Perfect Squad and she writes all the threats and stuff usually
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im not sure what to think of this. I cut. But that doesnt mean people like me want to read all about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cutting doesnt help. Well actually it does, but only temporarally. For anyone out there who is a cutter, pleas stop. It destroys yoir body, and your personal esteem. Also for those wo want to talk, i'd like to. Please help
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very understanding
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It kept me interested throughout the book. It wasn't dry or dense as other books I've read on cutting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 &quot;healthy parenting does not produce a self-mutilating child&quot;.  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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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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Guest More than 1 year ago
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!