The first time you come into contact with self harm can be scary. It can be hard to understand what drives someone to physically hurt themselves, and what makes them continue. Self harm now affects one in ten people - mainly teenagers, but not exclusively, so if you're a youth worker or a teacher it would be surprising if you didn't come across it. Kate Middleton and Sara Garvie have done a fantastic job in demystifying the whole area of self harm, providing practical advice and wisdom born from their own valuable experience.
They start with looking at what self harm is and how it develops as people struggle to cope with intense emotions. They look at how people recover from self harm with strategies for expressing the emotion that feels overwhelming and overcoming negative thought patterns. The final section of the book contains excellent advice for parents, youth workers and others who want to help those who self harm. Interwoven are real life stories from young people who have self harmed, and the road they are on to recovery. These moving accounts ground the theory in the reality of people's lives.
Ultimately this is a very hopeful book, showing that recovery is possible but being realistic about how it happens.