A Safe Place for Cutters Blog


Is there such thing as Long Term Success for Cutters?
March 1, 2010, 10:26
Filed under: Uncategorized

I had the following conversation with a young lady on Facebook:

FB: … I wanted to ask whether you’ve had any long term success with your patients. I don’t mean those people who say they’re clean for, dunno…4 years or 18 months…I mean those, who seriously don’t even get the desire to cut anymore. And not just in stressful situations- but generally.
I was just wondering if this state even exists…

Have a nice day,

Dr. Forbes: I work w/ people w/ self harm behavior at a state hosp. Yes, I do see people get better which is why I love my job so much. Mostly it has to do with creating a validating environment.  I try to do the same with my private Facebook group and blogsite.

FB: It’s good to hear that it actually is possible to get better, or well normal again. I always thought it was about control. You know. Giving me the control – not the other way round!

In one sense, it is about control. You do have to develop internal controls to quit harming yourself and create new habits to replace the self-harm behavior.  But what really helps people to get to the place where they no longer desire to hurt themselves is to be nurtured by a validating environment. Individuals with self-harm behavior typically have grown up in invalidating environments that include; physical , sexual and emotional abuse. Deep down in your soul you feel that you are not loved or worthwhile.  A validating environment is one where you are made to feel that you really matter to someone and have a contribution to make to the world. This doesn’t give you control by itself but it is like fertilizer that gives you the strength to make it begin to happen.  You then become empowered to develop new tools such as  interpersonal skills, distress tolerance skills and emotional regulation.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend. Click here!

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