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Equilibrium - Self Harmony

Further reading

If you are conducting research or are interested in further understanding the many aspects of self injury, our selection of books below would be an excellent start. If you would like to purchase the books through Amazon please click on the cover image. As an added bonus, Amazon will pay us a small referral fee for any items brought through Equilibrium which will help us in maintaining the website and organising future events.

[EQ] = Equilibrium recommended 

Secret Scars: Uncovering and Understanding the Addiction of Self-injury [EQ]

Synopsis
What is self-injury? Why would people deliberately hurt themselves? Why can't they stop? These questions are addressed in this study, which looks at the addiction of self-injury. The personal case histories told in the book should validate the experiences and address the concerns of readers.


Self Injury: Psychotherapy with People Who Engage in Self-inflicted Violence

Synopsis
In this perceptive work, Dr. Robin Connors offers helpful guidelines to clinicians that will improve their capacity to respond in a direct, effective, and respectful way to people who self-injure. Key to this work is understanding the function of self-inflicted violence and its relationship to unresolved traumas and losses, including the role of trauma in disrupting the formation of the self-boundary. Dr. Connors identifies fundamental therapeutic tasks, gives clear examples of interventions, and offers concrete recommendations for interacting with patients about their self-injury.


Bodies Under Siege: Self-mutilation and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry [EQ]

Synopsis
This work analyzes the complex issues surrounding self-mutilation, drawing on case studies from clinical psychiatry and cultural anthropology to show that the phenomenon is deeply embedded culturally, and far more common than is often thought. Although body modification and blood rituals are shown to be common in many religions, rites-of-passage ceremonies, and therapeutic procedures, deviant self-mutilation, the author argues, is a distinct syndrome of impulse dyscontrol beginning in adolescence and often associated with eating disorders. According to the author, up to half of all female chronic self-mutilators have a history of anorexia or bulimia. This edition contains new information on the diagnosis and treatment of self-mutilation; the link between self-mutilation and eating disorders; and new research on the neurotransmitter serotonin, and associated advances in drug therapy.


Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-mutilation

Synopsis
In Britain, one person in 130 is a self-mutilator; in the US self-mutilation is almost as common as bulimia and anorexia, yet the condition is not recognized as a clinical disorder and few understand it. This work has been written for the self-mutilator, parents, friends, and therapists and explains why the disorder manifests in self-harming behaviour and describes how the self-mutilator can be helped.


The Scarred Soul: Understanding & Ending Self-inflicted Violence

Synopsis
This step-by-step guide is designed to help victims of self-inflicted violence understand why they feel the need to hurt themselves and to take steps to change their behaviour. Most victims tend to be teenage girls or women in their twenties. To hurt themselves is sometimes a way of focusing and controlling overwhelming feelings of chaos. For others, it frees them from the numbness that defends them from the pain of previous abuse. Alderman helps them to explore the reasons for self-abuse and its impact on their lives, and how to break the habit, either through psychotherapy or on their own.


CUT

Synopsis
Fifteen-year old Callie is so withdrawn that she's not speaking to anyone - including her therapist at Sea Pines, known to its guests as 'Sick Minds' - the residential treatment facility where her parents and doctor send her after discovering that she cuts herself. Her story unfolds primarily through dramatic monologues, gradually revealing the family turmoil that led to her self-destructive behaviour.


Disconnected

Synopsis
Catherine is a typical A-grade student from a middle class, high-achieving family, who suddenly, on entering the sixth form, loses her way. She stumbles from one situation to another, unable to work and turning to alcohol to take her mind off her problems. As she searches for answers through the varied and offbeat characters she meets, she learns a great many truths about life. Can she cope with the biggest truth of all - her own personality? Written in the first person, each chapter is addressed to someone different in Catherine's life - her mother, a teacher, a schoolfriend etc, and reflects how Catherine is different to different people. It brilliantly reflects the pressures on young people today in a world where they haven't got the time to grow up at their own pace. Is the face we present to the world our true self, or a carefully maintained construct?


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When the Body Is the Target: Self-harm, Pain and Traumatic Attachments

Synopsis
In this comprehensive and insightful work, Dr. Sharon K. Farber provides an invaluable resource for the mental health professional who is struggling to understand self-harm and its origins. Using attachment theory to explain how addictive connections to pain and suffering develop, she discusses various kinds and functions of self-harm behavior.


A Bright Red Scream: Self-mutilation and the Language of Pain [EQ]

Synopsis
Explores the phenomenon of self-mutilation, tracing how feelings of rage and self-punishment are acted out by its practitioners and the process of treatment, based on interviews with dozens of patients, doctors, and researchers.


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Self-harm and Suicide (Issues S.)

Synopsis
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the young in the UK (traffic accidents and cancer being the first and second). Each year about 4,000 young people under 25 reach hospital in the UK having injured or poisoned themselves. Chapter one of this book looks at the causes of self-harm and suicide and who is at risk. The second chapter looks extensively at the types of help that are available. The information comes from a variety of sources and includes government reports and statistics, newspaper reports, features, magazine articles and surveys, literature from lobby groups and charitable organisations.


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Culture and Self-Harm: Attempted Suicide in South Asians in London

Synopsis
Culture and Self-Harm considers the factors that attribute to the increased rate of self-harm and suicide among south Asians in London. It offers a new preventative strategy that will be of great interest and use to all mental health


Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Treatment Program for Self-Injurers


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Life After Self-Harm: A Guide to the Future [EQ]

Synopsis
Life After Self-Harm: A Guide to the Future is written for individuals who have deliberately harmed themselves. Developed through a major research project the contents of the manual has been informed and shaped by many users and expert professionals. Illustrated with multiple case-histories, it teaches users important skills: * for understanding and evaluating self-harm * for keeping safe in crisis * for dealing with seemingly insolvable problems * for developing coping strategies * for re-connecting with life. Health workers who regularly come into contact with individuals who have self-harmed will find the wealth of practical advice in this book extremely valuable for recommendation to patients either as a self-help book, or in the context of brief therapy.


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Hidden Self-harm: Narratives from Psychotherapy

Synopsis
This practical and accessible book of case studies takes a new look at self-harm, focusing on the under-explored area of hidden self-harming behaviour.


Healing the Hurt Within: Understand and Relieve the Suffering Behind Self-destructive Behaviour


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Skin Game: A Memoir


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The Scarred Soul: Understanding and Ending Self-inflicted Violence

Synopsis
This step-by-step guide is designed to help victims of self-inflicted violence understand why they feel the need to hurt themselves and to take steps to change their behaviour. Most victims tend to be teenage girls or women in their twenties. To hurt themselves is sometimes a way of focusing and controlling overwhelming feelings of chaos. For others, it frees them from the numbness that defends them from the pain of previous abuse. Alderman helps them to explore the reasons for self-abuse and its impact on their lives, and how to break the habit, either through psychotherapy or on their own.


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Women and Self-harm (The Women's Press Handbook Series)

Synopsis
Hundreds of thousands of women self-harm, but there has been no book to date which comprehensively explores this self-destructive behaviour. Now this powerful book looks at the reasons why women self harm and describes the experiences of those who do so. It examines the social, emotional and psychological resons for self-harming; and the physical, social and emotional consequences. It provides a comprehensive range of resources for help and advice and suggests strategies for recovery and healing. Including the voices of a wide range of self-harming women, it gives a vivid picture of the self-harming experience and will be essential reading for all those women who currently self-harm; their relatives and friends; professionals in fields where self-harming exists; and all those interested in this wide-ranging phenomenon.



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Self-Harm: A Psychotherapeutic Approach

Synopsis
Self-harm is worryingly common in young women, and is often used as a way of easing emotional suffering. Self-Harm: A Psychotherapeutic Approach explores the issues involved from the perspective of a psychoanalytical psychotherapist. Fiona Gardner examines these issues through extensive clinical material and an analysis of the social and cultural influences behind self-harm. This book will be of interest to all those working with those who are harming themselves, including psychotherapists, school counsellors, social workers and mental health clinicians.


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Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America - A Memoir

Synopsis
An account, both harrowing and amusing, of the author's dependence on Prozac, prescribed for her after a series of suicide attempts and breakdowns. She describes her experiences and her determination to get herself off medication.


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The Luckiest Girl in the World

Synopsis
Katie Roskova appears to be the luckiest girl in the world, but inwardly she suffers. Unable to express her feelings outwardly, Katie begins to secretly wound herself, but as the pressures mount, her self-inflicted wounds become more serious, and she can no longer hide them from others.


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