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mindhealer
mindhealer, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 693
Experience:  Licensed in MD and am also a Board Certified Diplomate (Advanced Practioner) I have over 10 years experience
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I am a U.S. volunteer working as a counselor and youth minister

Resolved Question:

I am a U.S. volunteer working as a counselor and youth minister and have custody of a soon to be 14yo boy in Belize, C.A. who recently began cutting. His life is better than before, why the change?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  mindhealer replied 3 years ago.

Good evening and thank you for the opportunity to answer your question and for requesting me personally. Based on the information you have provided the cutting behavior as actually not that unusual. My impression is that he is probably cutting superficially and not deep enough to draw blood....or if he is it is slight.

 

The reason he is likely cutting is due to his having difficulty in the transition to a new environment and a new life. I realize this sounds odd but this young man was used to chaos and drama on a regular basis. Now that that is no longer present he is likely experiencing a build up of anger and frustration though is not aware of how to appropriately communicate it to you nor does he know how to channel it healthily.

 

The cutting behavior serves as a release of that built up tension and pressure. My impression is that he is doing this in order to not "act out" in his behaviors.

 

I would actually suggest that you put him back into individual therapy with someone other than yourself. He needs to be aware of boundaries and to acknowledge specific roles in his life.

 

I hope this helps in answering your question and that you found the suggestions to be of benefit to you and in helping this young man.

 

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions that I can help in answering for you. I want to be certain that I have answered your question completely and thoroughly.

If you feel that I've answered your question to your satisfaction then I would greatly appreciate your clicking the ACCEPT button thereby giving me credit for the answer and suggestions I've provided to you. I hope this finds you well and look forward to your response.

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. Therapy and counseling isn't an option here. I volunteer as a counselor in schools within a 1 hour radius. Only the Senior pastor could counsel him and he is young with young kids from Nicaragua. Mental Health is not taken seriously here. I psychiatrist visits our district hospital one day every two weeks. Last time I took a child that I knew was ADHD positive, they put him on anticunvulsants and antidepressents within two days he showed me his hands and he was just shaking. I had to get help from a U.S. friend.
This child sees his mother and brothers everyday. His mother is our housekeeper. His brothers have lunch here as a family. Let's call it group therapy ;). But he is very open with me. He just started liking girls. Right now he likes two who are friends and refuses to choose one of the two. He said he likes the two so much it hurts inside. I know the feeling, but it was usually just for one. Do you think this could be the cause of the new behavior? You described it perfectly. It started 3 days ago. He has lived here for 1 year. He is tall for his age at 5'10" entering high school and has always had difficulty learning for lack of interest....its not ADHD....daydreaming...acting out...etc.
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Expert:  mindhealer replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Given the description he used as "it hurts inside" coupled with the start of the new school and quite possibly his feeling "out of place" my impression is that this is the reason for the cutting behavior. Encourage him to speak openly with you as a means to cope in a healthier manner. I'm also including a link to a workbook based on Dialectical Behavioral Theory concentrated on self injurious behavior that would certainly be useful with the exercises in the workbook. I think this will help. Here's the link:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Selfharm-Overcoming-Self-Injury-Treatments/dp/1572246162/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308005764&sr=1-3

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions before clicking the ACCEPT button as I want to be sure you're satisfied with the answer and suggestions I've provided.. Thank you again for requesting me.

 

 

mindhealer, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 693
Experience: Licensed in MD and am also a Board Certified Diplomate (Advanced Practioner) I have over 10 years experience
mindhealer and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the great advice and the link. This will help with further issues as well. This is not the first time I've seen this here. I've seen it twice in young ladies. I understood the two most probable causes for cutting were 1. "pain on the arm hurts less than the pain in the mind" as well as, 2. "look at me, I'm hurting, help me, I need attention." You confirmed what I planned to do. I saw it as a combination of the two because today he came and showed me 4 stripes on his arm. First time I ever had anyone do that. 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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 
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