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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My daughter was 13 just over a week ago. on Fridays I discovered

Customer Question

My daughter was 13 just over a week ago. on Fridays I discovered she she been cutting her arm - she told me very reluctantly after I missed a call from school and kind bluffed my way thru - apparently she had spoken to one of her teachers (the teacher did not ring back and I was unable to contact them unfortunately) The cuts are on her forearm and range in age - from quite long-term scarring to scabbed cuts to quite recent - although she told me she has only done int once a couple of weeks ago. There was an incident about 6 months ago when isaw some cuts on her arm - again she had spoke to this teacher at school. on this occasion I was able to talk the teacher and she felt it was a phase that a lot of the girls go through and to see how it goes. Which I did - and to add to my guilt - after time for got. On Saturday she stretched up and I saw marks on her stomach, I asked her if they were anywhere else and if she would mind showing me - she did. A quarter of her torso is covered in cuts, again of varying ages and the whole of the top of her right thigh. I said thank you for showing me (sounds so lame but had no idea what else to say but know the last thing she needs is me yelling at her!!) I have spoke to the gp and have an appointment today but feel so out of control. My 18 yr old son wanted to kill himself last yr and has depression which he refuses further treatment for, I am on a mild dose of anti-depressants for reasons that would just take too long to explain here and am addicted to painkillers. Beyond this I have no idea what to say to her or even how to talk to her - she just keeps saying she doesn't want to talk about it and is now saying she wants to go to doc on her own. I understand her need for privacy and even maybe her inablility to talk to me but how can I help her if she doesn't? I am worried that the doc won't tell me wat she says after and I will still be grappling around in the dark. Please help - or point me in the direction of someone who can.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 4 years ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

I believe that I can help you with this situation.

Your daughter shows a symptom of great emotional distress or pain. Some children who have issues with feeling abandoned or neglected, or have been in some way abandoned or neglected or abused, carry around deal of pain that is so great that the pain from cutting themselves actually masks the even greater emotional pain that they are carrying. Thus the cutting actually relieves their greater pain.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your daughter may also have anger issues, and she may also engage in reckless behaviour, some of which you may not be aware of.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Issues that cause this kind of reaction (cutting, which is more common in girls) is a warning that she needs some help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

An MD may be able to refer her, but MDs are not behaviour health specialists and may just give her a medication and be done with it. This is NOT what she needs, but rather needs to talk to a clinical counsellor or child psychologist - someone with experience or knowledge with emotional trauma.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are offline at the moment, and so I will not finish this question now, but will save it and exit this chat.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can pick up the chat when you return and if I am available at the moment I will talk to you immediately, or will return as soon as I am available.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Please give me more details of any past issues she might have had that might have traumatised her. Does she anger, is she depressed, does she have a boyfriend, has she engaged in any wild or reckless behaviour, does she overspend, and anything else. Was she ever abused? Does she have a father? Anything else you can think of.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Please start responding whether or not I am available and I SHALL return to help you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC