Inside a Cutter's Mind Review

I just finished the book "Inside A Cutter's Mind" by Jerusha Clark with Dr. Earl Henslin. This book is sub-titled "Understanding and Helping Those Who Self Injure", and I think that pretty much sums up the main ideas of the book.

As someone who works with students and people in all types and walks of life, self injury is something that has come up in counseling and has a all sorts of stereotypes surrounding it, some of which are true, and some of which are false.

This book seeks to take you into the minds of people who do self injure, and strives to give you a glimpse of the choices they make that lead them down this path. It goes into great detail medically speaking, concerning hormones, brain scans and the such. To be honest, I could have done without that part, as I just did not find it all that interesting, but it did lay the foundation for the fact that this is not just a made up problems, and can be a physical as well as a mental issue.

The book also seeks to walk you as a pastor or loved one of a person who self injures through some steps that you can take to help them this situation, and some signs to recognize when you need to hand things off to someone more equipped through education or experience to handle the situation.

I think it is an excellent book, a quick easy read, and should be read by pastors in particular, and is a helpful resource to check back into. It can also be a helpful book for those loved ones of those who self injure, giving them a glimpse into a world they might have trouble understanding. The book is biblically centered and speaks often of Christs redemption on the cross as a necessary help for working through these issues.

Below are few quotes I pulled out.

For many, self-harm acts as the "slap" that distracts them from the overwhelming circumstances and ferocious thoughts and emotions that threaten to spin them completely out of control.

Most self harmers don't want to kill themselves but something in themselves-pain, fear, anger, feelings of worthlessness, and so on.

Psycotherapist Jerilyn Robinson, who works at the S.A.F.E. Alternatives inpatient clinic in Illinois reports that her clients are as likely to have smothering parents as neglectful or abusive ones.

Relationships-not rules-hold lives together.

...childhood trauma is very likely the biggest indicator of future mental illness, even more than being born with two schizophrenic parents.

They exist in the perpetual and unpredictable fear both of being found out and never being found out.

This is a great book. Make sure and pick it up.


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