Sunday, May 20, 2012

Self-Injury Resources

This post is a follow up for those who attended my breakout session at History Maker yesterday on the subject of self-harm and requested more resources. Workshop The Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute puts on an excellent 2 day workshop on this subject. I highly recommend this for any leader who is working with young people. This workshops covers a lot of material, everything from what is self harm, to how to identify, to how to react to it, to how to counsel a youth through it, how to talk to the youth's parents about it, bah blah blah. I found this extremely helpful. Here is the link to their website. Their workshops travel across most major canadian cities, and come to vancouver every few months. Books Here are some books that I have heard good things about... Healing the hurt within; Understand self-injury and heal the emotional wounds; Sutton,J. Hope and Healing for Kids who Cut; Penner, M. Stopping the pain; A workbook for teens who cut and self-injure; Shapiro, L.E Websites to check out You will remember my t-shirt? I've found that youth can easily identify with the story behind this movement, and being that they use words like "movement" it's exciting for the youth to jump on board. S.A.F.E (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) has a website; I love their philosophy, you can read about it in the "about us" page. Also their resource page is loaded with good recommendations. Phone 1-800-DONTCUT End Note Warning Against Forums: I don't recommend kids going onto online forums and talking about self-harm in forums. In my experience it only triggers them with the urge to self harm themselves and teaches them to do it better and how to keep it secret longer. That's why I like TWLOHA because they can feel the support of not being alone, while not hearing stories that will give them the desire to self-harm. Having said that there are many forums online for kids to get plugged into. If a kid is going to do this anyway it's important that they plug into a positive forum focused on health and help. is an ok one. It's self policing. There is also, which I think is a better website for the positive feel to it. I hope this helps as you walk with youth through this journey of self-harm recovery. Blessings!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Basic Truth Packs a Punch

I was sitting in my in-laws kitchen working away on my upcoming workshops when I stumbled upon this quote;
"Someone once asked me, 'Why do you always insist on taking the hard road?' I replied, 'Why do you assume I see two roads?'"
This simple question and answer packs a powerful punch of reality. I often can become impatient with my teens when they make the same mistake over and over again. I wonder why they would choose to do that dumb thing again. Then I sit with them and tell them something really simple. Something so simple that I feel stupid saying it. It's such basic knowledge that I feel like I'm insulting their intelligence by voicing it.
"There is another way."
That's all. That's it. So simple, and so basic, but that little bit of truth has changed lives in front of my eyes week in and week out. I remember my driving instructor telling me something once; "A fish is the last one to discover water." Basically saying that when you are completely surrounded by something it's hard to see it. I guess that's what mentors are for. It's also what prayer is for. For opening our eyes to see things that are often right in front of us. So what is today's lesson? Be patient and speak truth kindly.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Row away from the Rocks

Call on God, but row away from the rocks. ~Indian Proverb This made me laugh right out loud. There are so many conversations that I look back on now and wish I had had these words of wisdom to share. You see, I have found that we people love to be in control, unless it means we have to do anything. In that case we are all to eager about God having the control and blaming him when bad things happen due to our own actions. Of course it's only in looking back that we can see our hypocrisy. In the moment we are upset and confused and angry. We cry out to God to fix something that is in our arms reach to fix ourselves. "Dear God, make me stop doing drugs and sleeping around. Amen." "Dear child, stop doing drugs and sleeping around. Love God." You know what I mean here? Now don't get me wrong. Prayer is incredibly powerful. And beautiful. I love prayer. I don't know how I would live without those times of communing with God. And yet, I must take responsibility for my own actions. So let's not do one or the other. I've always been a fan of choosing option C, all of the above. When problems arise and you find yourself heading for a path of bad things, come to God and ask for his help, and then change your path.