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Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder Treatment:
Parent Support

A few tips for supporting your teen during the treatment

Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder is an Impulse Control Disorder in which teens suffer from an addictive-like behavior of repeatedly harming themselves in ways such as cutting or burning. The harmful behaviors are considered the outward, visible symptoms of severe underlying feelings of shame, guilt, low self-worth, Anxiety, and Depression.

Though the symptoms and experiences surrounding Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder can be overwhelming and daunting at first, to adolescents and parents alike, Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder Treatment has very high recovery rates when therapists do a thorough job of treating the underlying emotional underpinnings of the disorder.

Adolescents can suffer from self-harm disorder
Impulse Control Disorder is an addictive behavior to do self-harm that usually affects teenagers

Parent Education and Support Groups

For all parents that have an adolescent undergoing adolescent self-harm treatment, we strongly recommend them participating in some sort of emotional support and/or treatment groups. At Paradigm, we include such parent education and support groups as part of the Adolescent Treatment process, but any treatment center should be able to advise on available resources.

As your adolescent is undergoing the experience and then treatment of Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder, parents too can undergo a significant amount of stress, confusion, and overall turbulence in their lives. To this end, we offer a few tips as to how to best support your teen throughout this treatment time.

Adolescents Must Take Responsibility

Adolescent male
Teens affected by self-harm disorder must also learn to be responsible for their own treatment

First of all, just as much as the adolescents must take responsibility for their own treatment and recovery, parents, too, must allow their teens to take this responsibility, which also means, not taking it upon themselves. This means as a parent, you can’t be too hard on yourself or put stress or guilt upon yourself about what your teen is going through.

If there are ways in which you feel connected to your teen’s struggle, it can be very helpful for you to work through these feelings and questions with a therapist who can help guide you through that experience and respond in fitting ways. However, heaping needless amounts of guilt and stress on yourself will not abate your teen’s stress; in fact, it might very well make it worse.

Family Therapy Sessions

Secondly, look for opportunities during your teens self injury treatment to participate in family sessions, when your teen’s therapists will allow. Your teen’s treatment is an invaluable time to try to connect and engage with them about what they’re going through, with the professional support of a therapist there to bridge the gap of communication. The conversations, connection, and growth that can take place during this time is invaluable.

Engage Actively in Teen's Recovery

And lastly, we recommend that parents look for opportunities to actively encourage and support their teens, during and following treatment. Sometimes, with the unending daily demands of life, words of encourage and love can go unsaid, even if not unfelt. Engage actively in your teen’s recovery by speaking to them of how you believe in them and the pride you have over them, adding to their feelings of self-worth, and furthering the work they did during treatment. Not only will this help your teen move forward but it will help bring you closer together as well.

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