Stopping the Pain: Teenage Self-Injury
-For Grades 7 & Up
-DVD + Printable Teaching Guide
The number of adolescents who participate in acts of self-injury is growing exponentially. The forms and severity of self-injury can vary, although the most commonly-seen behaviors are cutting, burning, and head-banging. At the core of the behavior is the overwhelming need for relief from extreme tension or anxiety . . .
The number of adolescents who participate in acts of self-injury is growing exponentially. The forms and severity of self-injury can vary, although the most commonly-seen behaviors are cutting, burning, and head-banging. At the core of the behavior is the overwhelming need for relief from extreme tension or anxiety, or overwhelmingly painful feelings. In this program, several teens describe what led them to self-injury, how they got help, and how they found healthy ways to deal with their problems. Identifies some of the reasons why young people self-injure: to punish themselves for not being “perfect”, to relieve emotional stress, to feel less numb, and to feel in control when everything else in their lives seems out-of-control. It emphasizes that it is possible for self-injurers to address their problems in more healthy ways and to learn coping skills. Advises viewers on how they can help friends or classmates who self-injure.
Includes: 20-minute video, teacher’s resource book, and student handouts with pre/post tests.
Sample Video Clip:
Recommended Stopping the Pain: Teenage Self-Injury profiles four teenagers (Latria, Chrissy, Stephanie, and Ben) who have ended their self-injurious behavior. The DVD also includes interview footage with two professionals, Michelle Seliner (clinical social worker) and Dr. Wendy Lader (clinical psychologist). They are affiliated with S.A.F.E. Alternatives® (Self Abuse Finally Ends), a nationally-recognized treatment approach, professional network, and educational clearinghouse dedicated to ending self-injurious behavior.
The first half of the film describes self-injurious behavior from both the teens’ and the experts’ points of view. After briefly defining deliberate self-harm, the film goes on to explore the various reasons for the behavior. Self-injury functions as a coping strategy for dealing with emotional pain. The behavior reveals an underlying need for perfection, punishment, and control. The second half of the film focuses on intervention, treatment, and recovery. It emphasizes the importance of getting help and learning healthy communication skills and positive ways of coping.
The teen interviewees frankly describe the feelings that led to the self-injurious behavior. They discuss the intervention and therapy that aided their recovery. The film is nicely edited to balance and blend the teens’ and experts’ viewpoints. It is jargon-free and very accessible to the layperson. A loose-leaf teacher’s resource book is included to supplement the film. It contains student activities and fact sheets. The film could be useful in both counseling and classroom venues. It is appropriate for audiences of a wide range of ages though it is chiefly aimed at teens. It provides a clear and compassionate introduction to the subject of self-injury.
– Wendy Highby, University of Northern Colorado
EMRO (Educational Media Reviews Online)