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Which therapy(6 Posts)
My mature 12yo DD seems to be heading down the self harm route all of sudden. Absolutely not talking to anyone about it, not her friends, not family. I'm a bit stumped.
There are lots of very light cuts down her arms (elbow to wrist direction). Clearly not deep. And she's not hiding her arms. She's lied about what she's doing it with. I'm fairly sure it's a Stanley knife.
A friend has suggested trying EMDR therapy. Previously we've done CBT.
She's had a pretty tough childhood emotionally with an abusive father. She's been to court twice against her Dad, and was put through a false child sexual abuse case by her father when she was 3 or so.
Up to now she's always been a fairly open book but that's really changed suddenly (or so it seems to me).
School breaks up today. And she's off abroad for a couple of weeks with DGM so I'm hoping that'll help. I've not mentioned it to DGM as she's asked me not to. Her DD13 knows if it becomes necessary.
I don't want to make it worse in case it's just a stage.
Does anyone have any advice for what to do next, please?
I don’t have a high opinion of CBT personally. I’ve tried it twice. It has helped my husband a bit but I think once you start getting deep it can feel like the therapist shuts the door you’re just beginning to open and once you have identified a behaviour cycle they basically believe you should be able to stop it and for me it made me feel really crap that I couldn’t. Added to the feelings of futility and also made me hide how badly I was doing. I’ve done well with Analytical Psychology but it’s a long haul. For me that ongoing relationship with a therapist has really helped. Good luck. It’s great that you have noticed what’s going on with your DD and are getting her help.
Given your DD’s background and her closing off, it would be risky to decide that any self-destructive behaviour is just a stage. Longways cuts are potentially dangerous. I agree with pp that CBT seems inappropriate for someone with your DD’s history but I’m not an expert at all. Your DD would need a professional assessment to work out what therapy is best for her now and even a private therapist should want some evaluations to know what they are dealing with before agreeing to work with her.
I think there are two things to do next. First, grandmother needs to be told and then it is up to her to decide if she still feels up to taking your DD away. A 13 year old mustn’t be left responsible for any of this, she can’t judge when it has “become necessary” to tell anyone and even if she could it is a deeply unfair burden on a child. What if she gets it wrong and your DD does herself some real damage? These decisions can’t be left to two children who are barely into their teens.
And the other thing is talk to your GP and get some advice and referrals. It may take time and pushing for anything to come through but your DD needs as much help as you can get her.
Thanks @Hauskat that's interesting about CBT. I'd never really thought of it like that but I see what you mean.
@Kleinzeit DD really really doesn't want me to tell her DGM and I think I need to respect that as otherwise she's going to clam up again.
We are in France so hopefully access to services will be a bit better. That said finding someone they were prepared to talk to last time took bloody years. But that was more about the children than anything.
I don't EMDR is the right therapy for a child to be honest. Is there not a good healthcare and mental health care system in France, why can't she can be referred to a child psychologist? She needs to see a specialist therapist who deals with children.