CHICAGO, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the Cornell Research Program on self injury, 12 to 24 percent of young people have self-injured. Self injury, such as cutting, scratching or burning, can be a way to release or relieve unmanageable feelings and express intense inner pain. It is a growing problem among young people that needs to be addressed. Kimberly Dennis, M.D., medical director at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, stresses that parents are a first line of defense and a key part to seeking help. She also understands that the first conversation between a parent and a child can be a difficult one. She offers a helpful formula for approaching subjects as sensitive as self injury.
"Using a 'I see, I think, I feel' formula is an effective way to approach a complex and delicate subject, and it allows parents to remain on 'their side of the street,'" said Dr. Dennis during an ABC 20/20 interview. This formula can be applied by saying to your child: "When I see cuts on your wrist, I think 'this is a problem, my kid is cutting,' and I feel scared." Dr. Dennis encourages parents to make their own observations and speak from the heart as this formula is just an outline for that conversation.
Having an open and honest dialogue is key when parents suspect there is a problem. Dr. Dennis says many times parents are worried their child will be mad or upset about being confronted, but this formula makes it more about a parent's concerns, rather than adding to the guilt or shame the child likely already feels for his or her actions. Dr. Dennis wants parents to know that help is available and it works. "At Timberline Knolls, we focus on healing from the inside out," she said.
More often than not, self injury is associated with another co-occurring problem like depression, trauma, eating disorders or substance abuse. "These young adults need attention - sometimes medical, sometimes emotional, sometimes spiritual," Dr. Dennis said. "It's important to not only recognize the signs of self injury, but as a parent, to know what steps to take to get proper care for your child. These are serious and deadly diseases, but there is hope and life long recovery is possible."
By fostering an environment of acceptance and understanding, facilities such as Timberline Knolls provide a safe space where those facing self-injury and co-occurring disorders can heal physically, emotionally and spiritually.
About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Timberline Knolls is one of the leading private residential treatment centers for substance abuse, eating disorders, and severe depression, with or without a co-occurring disorder, dual diagnosis, self injury or trauma. Expert treatment staff offers a nurturing environment of recovery for women and girls (ages 12 and older) on a 43-acre campus in suburban Chicago. Women and families seeking Christian addiction treatment have the option of working with a dedicated Christian therapist. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611.
SOURCE Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center