Teens who cut, scratch, burn or otherwise injure themselves are often dealing with severe emotional pain, and may be harming themselves in a misguided attempt to “release” this anguish. For some teens, cutting becomes a compulsion, which means the more they do it, the more they feel the need to continue the behavior.

Protecting Teens from Themselves

Teens cut themselves for a variety of reasons, including to ease their emotional pain, to punish themselves, or to attract the attention of someone who can help them.

Regardless of the reasons behind the behavior, though, self-harm should never be ignored. Cutting is a sign that life has become unbearable, and that your teen has lost sight of all other options.

But a range of healthy options do exist.

Aspen Education Group offers a number of residential treatment programs for adolescents who are engaging in self-harm or who are struggling with other emotional or behavioral issues.

In a safe, supervised and structured environment, with guidance from master’s level therapists and other experienced staff members, your teen can learn healthy ways to cope with intense feelings of rage, sadness, shame, rejection or emptiness -- and can find lasting relief from these inner demons.

For example, Island View, a residential treatment center in Utah, is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to help teens 12-18 years old address their emotional and behavioral issues and improve their lives. Through the end of 2009, Island View is offering a 15% discount on its services. Contact us today to find out how you can take advantage of this offer, and help your teen start the New Year with a renewed healthy outlook on life.

Cutting is a way of turning problems further inward – but talking about painful emotions is a productive way of addressing these potentially harmful thoughts in a positive manner. Our residential programs for teens provide individual, group and family counseling opportunities, as well as alternative therapies that can help teens express themselves instead of keeping their pain bottled up inside.

This type of therapeutic self-expression can appear to be daunting at first, but it will provide your child with the guidance and the freedom that is necessary to heal both physically and emotionally.

Because self-injury is sometimes associated with a range of underlying or co-occurring problems – including drug or alcohol abuse, trauma, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders or compulsive behaviors -- your teen may need additional treatment to ensure continued healthy development.

Our adolescent residential treatment centers take a holistic approach, assessing and treating the full spectrum of mental and emotional issues that your teen may be dealing with. At the same time, we provide accredited academics, psychiatric care, extracurricular activities and a positive peer environment.

All good parents want to protect their children, but sometimes that job is more than one or two people can handle. If your teen is engaging in self-harm -- or if you are a teen who is cutting -- call us today, and take an important first step toward a healthier and happier tomorrow.

Find out more about residential treatment centers >>