Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors

Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors

by March 30, 2015

Breaking the Self-Harm Cycle New Guide Provides Revolutionary Approach To Understanding and Healing Self-Destructive Behaviors

Each year, millions of teenagers and adults engage in self-harm. While people often assume self-harm only refers to acts such as cutting — millions of people struggle with other forms of self-destructive behavior like substance abuse and eating disorders. No matter the form, these acts are often accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and shame, reflective of traumatic or painful past experiences.

Focused on helping sufferers, support systems, and mental health experts understand and short circuit the destructive cycle of self-harm, Lisa Ferentz, a psychotherapist with over 30 years experience specializing in adolescent and adult survivors of trauma, abuse and neglect, introduces Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing. This revolutionary new workbook offers inspiring, hopeful, creative resources for those hoping to break free of their self-destructive behaviors, as well as the clinicians who treat them. Using a variety of treatment methods, readers will learn how to understand, compassionately work with and heal from their behaviors, which can dramatically reduce internal conflict and instill genuine hope for both clients and practitioners.

“The overarching message throughout Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors is that these self-destructive behaviors actually make sense, given the fact that the sufferer is holding onto experiences of trauma, abuse, neglect, or any pain narrative, and doesn’t know how else to manage the thoughts and feelings that accompany those experiences,” says Ferentz. “The book begins by acknowledging a person’s resiliency and strengths, and talks about destructive acts as creative coping strategies, rather than a sign of ‘mental illness.’ This allows people to connect with a sense of self-compassion, which is a key ingredient in a willingness to learn other ways to self-soothe and process pain. As long as you hate yourself, it resonates to hurt yourself.”

Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors provides easy-to-follow exercises focused on calming the body, containing overwhelming emotions, managing negative and distorted thoughts, re-grounding from flashbacks, addressing tension and anxiety, decreasing a sense of vulnerability, strengthening assertiveness and communication skills, and accessing inner wisdom. With life-changing, inspiring encouragement, Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors reveals:

How to take away the sense of shame that accompanies self-harm

The connection between trauma and self-destructive behaviors

Understanding the varying types of self-harm

Why we can’t expect people to give up these behaviors unless they have other ways to get what self-destructive acts do for them

The cycle of self-harm and how therapy can assist in short-circuiting the need to continue this cycle

*Why traditional treatment creates power struggles when people feel forced to give up their behaviors

Genuinely soothing strategies to replace acts of self-harm

“The common mindset in the mental health community is to impose standard safety contracts, making people sign agreements that promise they won’t hurt themselves,” adds Ferentz. “In my experience, and according to research, these contracts don’t work. They evoke shame and leave people feeling disempowered and angry. Just as people choose to do something self-destructive, they must also feel that stopping the behavior is their choice as well. Otherwise, they are likely to hurt themselves more, just to prove they are in charge.”

Lisa Ferentz is a nationally recognized Psychotherapist, Clinical Consultant, and Educator, specializing in the treatment of adolescent and adult trauma, abuse, and neglect. She is the founder and president of The Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education, Inc. She was given “The Social Worker of the Year Award” by the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work in 2009 and is the author of Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Trauma Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide, now in its second edition, as well as Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing.

Learn more about Ferentz and Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors at www.lisaferentz.com and connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors is available for purchase at www.lisaferentz.com, Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and through all major booksellers. •

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