Cutting It Out: A Journey through Psychotherapy and Self-Harm

Cutting It Out: A Journey through Psychotherapy and Self-Harm

Cutting It Out: A Journey through Psychotherapy and Self-Harm

Cutting It Out: A Journey through Psychotherapy and Self-Harm

Synopsis

"Cutting it Out breaks the silence surrounding self-harm and tells the story of a young woman's conflict between her compulsion to cut herself and her courage to overcome this destructive addiction. Initially resistant to recovery, she embarks on a challenging journey through therapy. She experiences conflicting feelings of obsession and antagonism towards her therapist and conceals her self-harm from others before gaining the strength to face her demons and take control of her life again. Cutting it Out explores what drives someone to harm themselves and the struggles encountered in the therapeutic process. This compelling read will be of particular interest to therapists, counsellors, people who self-harm or who are in therapy, as well as their families and friends." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Self-harm, in particular self-injury, has become an issue of pressing concern in recent years. Among young people in particular, it seems to be on the increase, seems to be a preferred way of expressing distress and coping with life's exigencies. This situation has resulted in a substantial literature on the subject – on the one hand books and papers written by therapeutic practitioners, on the other books and websites created by and for individuals who self-harm.

This book, an intimate and engaging account presented in the form of a novel, is a unique and important contribution to this literature. Eschewing sensationalism, the author offers a thoughtful and emotionally authentic account of her struggle with the compulsion to cut herself and a parallel compulsion to 'stalk' her psychotherapist. The story is set against the vividly and often humorously evoked backdrop of day-to-day life and work, and the relationships with her flatmate 'Kathryn', with her mother and with her recently deceased father.

The book is unusual in that – as the title suggests – it has at its centre the experience of psychotherapy described from the patient's point of view. The author records what transpires between herself and her psychotherapist and, beyond that, succeeds in communicating the feeling and the texture of the psychotherapy sessions, something that is very difficult to put into words. I was particularly interested in the account of the evolving relationship between client and psychotherapist and in the author's musings – never less than forthright – on some of her therapist's interventions ('She settles in for a long . . .

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