TITLE: “Relationship: The Key To Treating Self-Harm in Young Women”
SPECIAL GUEST: Kevin Randall
According to Kevin Randall, Self-Harm is an increasingly pervasive symptom of emotional distress among young women. For many young women self-harm is not a coping skill, it is a survival skill. Because it involves physical damage to the sufferer, cutting and other self-harm behavior understandably evokes distress and fear in others. And when viewed on a continuum, self-harming behavior can sometimes be interpreted as a precursor to suicidal behavior.
It is important not to berate or cajole, to punish or threaten someone who is exhibiting this behavior. People who self-injure are already very good at doing that to themselves. Kevin describes the healing process which is essential to young women being able to move forward with their life. Healing occurs through connections. He describes how residential treatment programs have the advantage of offering multiple opportunities for this kind of relationship through groups, one on one counseling, family therapy and recreational activities with caring staff members. In addition they have the opportunity to help young women not just survive life, but to live life.
Obviously, though, the relationship is just the beginning, as the dangerous survival skills these young women have been using to address their emotional struggles can no longer be options. The next steps include helping young women understand and live out of their unique potential while using tools which will help her to work through her pain.
ABOUT KEVIN RANDALL
Kevin Randall, clinical director of Fulshear Ranch Academy, earned his Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Nebraska. Over the past decade Kevin has worked with clients in outpatient mental health, residential treatment, and with families as they transitioned from treatment back to their homes. He has worked with a diverse range of clients experiencing issues related to personality disorders, mood disorders, trauma, eating disorders, and family relationship issues.
Kevin is especially passionate about the work that can be done with an entire family in creating permanent, positive change. He has been trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and has most recently worked at New Haven RTC, a sister program to Fulshear.