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Catherine Rioult

Adolescent Self-Harm: scarification and Healing Through Writing

Catherine Rioult is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. She has been developing writing workshops for self-harming adolescents for ten years. She also leads groups for parents of problem teenagers at the Ecole des Parents et Educateurs, in the Paris region.

Although body markings, particularly scarification, are on the rise (one third of all adolescent psychiatric consultations), for most parents and healthcare providers such forms of mutilation remain incomprehensible.
A recognised expert on adolescence, Catherine Rioult explains the meaning of such practices, based on her day-to-day work with patients but also on her exploration of the ancestral traditions of primitive societies. And she has followed a remarkable hunch: that the power of writing can help these adolescents, who often write a great deal online.
From results obtained in her writing workshops, Rioult shows how patients have been able to make the transition from painfully etching their ‘writing’ into their own flesh, to a creative, appeased expression of their inner life.

• Understanding ‘scarifying’ adolescents.
• A book that de-dramatizes the question and helps parents.
• Advice for parents and a modern, original therapeutic approach.