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Beyond Fear and Control: Working with young people who self-harm

by Helen Spandler & Sam Warner (eds) PCCS Books
Pub Date:
Pbk 196 pages
AU$49.99 NZ$50.43
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Beyond Fear and Control discusses ways in which services can change the focus from managing or 'stopping' self harm to working with young people in more permissive, 'young person centred' and empowering ways. Although the need for such a change is increasingly being recognised, the practical implications and ethical dilemmas of this shift have rarely been explored. This book addresses this gap by providing in-depth descriptions of a range of innovative practices which are effective in supporting young people who self harm. People harm themselves in many ways and for many different reasons. Whilst we recognise that there is a complex relationship between self harm and suicide, this book is about supporting young people who use self harm primarily as a way of coping with distress. In this context self harm can be viewed as - the expression of, and temporary relief from overwhelming, unbearable and often conflicting emotions, thoughts or memories, through a self injurious act which they can control and regulate. Undoubtedly young people who self harm arouse strong emotional reactions in most people including fear, helplessness, confusion and anger. Responses are often based on a need to try and protect or rescue young people from danger. However, our heightened emotional response, coupled with myths and misunderstandings about both young people and self harm, can lead us to respond in ways that, rather than being empowering and helpful, can be felt as controlling and harmful.

Part One: Working alongside Young People 1. A Dialogue of Hope and Survival. Clare Shaw and Terri Shaw 2. Edges and Ledges: Reflections on informal support at 42nd Street Eamonn Kirk 3. Finding your own Voice: Social Action group work with young people Keith Green 4.Supportive communities and helpful practices: the challenge for services Ian Murray Part Two: Abuse, Oppression and Self Harm 5. Calming Down: self injury as stress control Rose CameronV 6.Whose Fear Is It Anyway? Working with young people who dissociate Theres Fickl 7. Disordered Boundaries?: A critique of 'Borderline Personality Disorder' Gillian Proctor 8. 'To that piece of each of us that refuses to be silent': Working with self harm and black identity Vera Martins Part Three: Strategies of Survival 9. Self Injury and the Law: What choices do we really have? Sam Warner and Doug Feery 10. Weaving different practices: Working with children and young people who self-harm in prison Carolyn McQueen 11.Harm-Minimisation: limiting the damage of self-injury Louise Roxanne Pembroke 12. Exercising Choice and Control: Independent Living, Direct Payments and Self Harm Helen Spandler and Pauline Heslop

The contributions in this book recognise that positive strategies are requred in this often distressing and uncomfortable area of work, and offer some thought-provoking recommendations on how to support young people who self-harm. The book should leave readers - people working across children's services and service users alike - with renewed optimism. Jude Sellen, Mental Health Today (UK), November 2007. I found the writing refreshing and easy to negotiate … Several chapters relate theory to practice but this is not clumsy or unnecessary. Rather, the theory adds strength to the discussion which is at all times focussed on the practical application of the work and the narratives of the young people. The narratives both illuminate the work being related an also serve as a constant reminder of the humanity and validity of the narratives of people who self-harm. Kathryn Kinmond, Lecturer in Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan Univerisity, Youth and Policy Journal (UK) Spring 2008
Helen Spandler is a research fellow in the Department of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire (UK). Sam Warner is a consultant clinical psychologist and research fellow in the Department of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Manchester Metropolitan University.