Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors offers inspiring, hopeful, creative resources for the millions of male and female adolescents and adults who struggle with eating disorders, addictions, any form of self-mutilation. It is also a workbook for the clinicians who treat them. Using journaling exercises, drawing and collaging prompts, guided imagery, visualizations, and other behavioral techniques, readers will learn how to understand, compassionately work with, and heal from their behaviors rather than distracting from or fighting against them, which can dramatically reduce internal conflict and instill genuine hope. Techniques are provided in easy-to-follow exercises that focus 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.
This workbook can be used in conjunction with Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Trauma Survivors, 2nd ed, also by Lisa Ferentz, to allow therapists and their clients to approach the behaviors from the same strengths-based perspective. Workbook exercises can be completed as homework assignments or as part of a therapy session. In either case, the client is given the opportunity to process their work and share their insights with a compassionate witness and trained professional, making the healing journey even safer and more rewarding.
Table of Contents
Foreword Margaret Grimes I. Tapping into Your Curiosity and Courage 1. Beginning the Journey 2. You Are Not in This Alone 3. The Top 10 Reasons Why a Therapist Can Help 4. Is This Workbook Really Right for Me? II. Connecting Self-Destructive Behaviors to Past and Present Experiences 5. It’s Not Easy Being a Teenager or an Adult! 6. How Trauma Can Lead to Self-Destructive Behaviors 7. Moving Away from the Diagnosis of "I’m Crazy": The Strengths-Based Approach 8. Connecting to Others and Managing Your Emotions 9. What Self-Destructive Behaviors REALLY Mean III. Why "Letting Go: Is Hard to Do: The Cycle of Self-Harm 10. Learning about the "Cycle" of Self-Destructive Behaviors 11. What Sets the Cycle in Motion? 12. Understanding Negative Thoughts and Feelings 13. Experiencing Tension and Anxiety 14. What Happens When You "Zone Out" and Don't Feel Pain 15. Engaging in Acts of Self-Harm 16. Why it Works in the Short-Term 17. Why it Doesn't Work in the Long-Term 18. How Feeling Bad Leads to More Pain IV. Working With and Moving Beyond Self-Destructive Behaviors 19. Working with the Cycle of Self-Destructive Behaviors 20. Treating the Triggers 21. Dealing with Negative Thoughts 22. Managing Negative Feelings 23. Addressing Tension and Anxiety 24. Learning to Stay Present 25. Using CARESS 26. Honoring the Positive Outcomes 27. Finding the Courage to Say This Isn't Working 28. Being Compassionate When You Are Feeling Vulnerable 29. On Your Road to Recovery Glossary Index
Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, is the president and founder of the Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education, which provides continuing education to mental health professionals. She was named "Social Worker of the Year" by the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work in 2009 and has been in solo private practice specializing in trauma for 30 years.
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