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Melissa Richardson
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34 followers
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Promotional video
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Promotional video in Spanish
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I plan to begin a new children's group on Oct. 4th. This is a group for children whose parents are divorced or divorcing. Contact me at 214-883-7073 for details.
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When I went through a divorce, my children went with me. I paid thousands of dollars for each of my kids to participate in individual therapy. It wasn't an easy thing for me to do, but I felt it was too much to risky not to get my children the help they needed for the transition.
This group is a cost effective way for kids to cope with depression and be around other children that are experiencing the same things they are.
I'm starting a new group for ages 6-9 on April 12th for anyone who might be interested and have a waiting list starting for the 9-12 group. Please contact me right away!!!
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This is a new video WFAA did for me. It turned out pretty good!
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Cutting and Self-Harm
 
Cutting and self-injury has become somewhat “trendy” in the past 10 years, and has managed to send parents affected in a whirlwind. It is difficult to understand why anyone would choose to be maimed or scarred for life and non-cutters often can’t imagine why anyone would choose such a seemingly violent and counterintuitive coping method. Although the vast majority of cutting behaviors are not attempts at suicide, occasionally a person may cut or injure themselves in such a way that it can ultimately become lethal.
There are many reasons why people cut or harm themselves; I may not be touching all the reason, but I will present what I have seen both in my practice and in my experience with rehabilitation facilities and mental health programs.
Coping with Emotional Pain: This reason at one time, was the most common reason why teens would harm themselves, but perhaps because of the “trendiness” of it, it is not always the case. Cutting has been practiced for centuries in various cultures as a method of coping with significant emotional pain. A person cutting for this reason may truly feel that distracting their emotional pain with physical pain is preferred over dealing with the actual emotional duress. A child who is harming themselves for this reason, may have experienced an assault (sexual or physical), be the victim of excessive bullying, or may just lack the knowledge of methods used to cope with emotional distress. They may also cut to deal with feelings of loneliness or perceived or real rejection. They tend to feel excessive guilt or shame and have a strong negative perception of their body and or appearance which is usually exacerbated by the scars that form. In addition, many also have coexisting eating disorders or mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or anxiety disorders. They are most likely to keep their cutting a secret from everyone and do what they can to cover-up their injuries.
Attention Seeking or Manipulation: Since cutting has become a trend, and seems to send adults into a tailspin, some children may use cutting in an attempt to manipulate or control their environment.  If a child, after cutting, then asks for certain privileges, or blames others for their cutting behavior, they are more than likely using some kind of manipulation. (Emotional cutters tend to be extreme in self-loathing and self-blaming and are unlikely to blame others for their cutting). DO NOT ASSUME that your child fits into this description or that they are therefore not experiencing any emotional pain; things happen to our children that we often have no knowledge of, so seek professional assistance before deciding this is the reason. Even if this is the reason for a child cutting, consider that if a child feels the need to go to such great lengths to cut, they may need some help from an experienced counselor.
To Fit Into a Sub-Culture: The Goth culture has been accepting of cutting as a normal part of its identity, however, occasionally you will have a group of boys, or girls, who for some reason decide that it’s the “thing to do”.  The child may feel peer pressure to cut themselves as a way of fitting in or as a way to “one-up” the other. Although it is inappropriate to assume that a child hanging out with another child who cuts will likely follow suit, the likelihood may be higher.
To Feel Something: A child who goes through their daily lives refusing to feel any kind of emotions (whether that thought process is brought on by themselves or influenced by their parents), may have a strong need to just FEEL SOMETHING. They get tired of feeling numb and usually fear strong negative emotions, so cutting can be a way to feel something that is relatively controlled.
There are also other ways that children will self-harm such as: banging their heads or body parts into walls or against hard surfaces; punching hard surfaces; picking at their skin with tacks or sharp objects, or purposely burning themselves with lighters or matches. Some may also choose to get excessive piercings or tattoos. I am not implying that all people who have a large number of tattoos or piercings is experiencing this problem, but it is possible.
I would also pose that some children and adults, also find “socially acceptable” ways of harming themselves such as participating in violent or dangerous sports or being in occupations where the high likelihood of injury is possible.  It’s not the sport or occupation itself, or the lack of fear in being hurt, but the actual desire to get into situations where they will be injured. They welcome the fight and the pain in a way that is often dangerous, and if they don’t experience it for a long period of time, may seek to instigate the scenario to deal with their needs.
The most important thing to do regardless of the reasoning is to seek professional help IMMEDIATELY! Cutting and self-injury can become a compulsion that can easily equal an addiction. Regardless of the reason, it is unlikely to go away on its own and can get profoundly worse if not treated. Someone who initially only cut their arms, may eventually cut their legs, hips, torso, and even face. Since even physical pain is temporary, they may also add to their self-harming by using drugs, alcohol, sex, or any number of addictions to also feel different.
You may feel that you can control what’s happening by controlling your child’s environment by taking away all the knives, or razors, but truthfully, it’s not difficult to find something you can hurt yourself with if you really want to. Don’t do this alone. There are too many people willing to help you if you let them.
I am not writing to anyone in particular.
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Starting new groups this week! Call today at 214-883-7073!!
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Starting new classes in the new year!
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My new groups begin on Nov 9th and I have two slots left for kids. If you are going through a divorce and your kids are having difficulty with it, this is a great way to get them some help!
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I am starting new group therapy programs for children 5-8 and 9-12. Please pass along to anyone who may need help.
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