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Overcoming Teen Rebellion and Self-Harm

Iris' Success Story

Click the play button below to listen or scroll down to read her story.

Iris’s Journey: From Self-Harm and Teen Rebellion to Success

Iris’s story is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit and the transformative impact of love and the right support. Her journey to success was paved with resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment.

I’m so happy to share Iris’s story. Growing up in a small town with traditional parents, her teenage years were marked by rebellion, defiance, and, sadly self-harm. She felt like an outsider. Her parents are very conservative, and her choices led to conflicts with her father, which often turned physical. 

Parents Seeking Help for a Desperate Situation

Iris’s desperate parents contacted me, seeking help to save her life. After a thorough, careful assessment, listening to her parents, and speaking to her therapist and school counselor, and reviewing her medical history.

Assessment and Recommendations

I recommended a therapeutic boarding school to help Iris understand her feelings and behavior. Iris needed help finding a new outlet for her emotions. She also needed to catch up academically and bring up her grades. She’d been ditching school.

What I learned about Iris gave me a broader understanding that I didn’t get from my conversation with her mom and dad. This case was interesting because, unlike many families I work with, Iris was anxious to attend the program. More often than not, kids want to stay in their familiar environment and friends. But Iris wanted to get away from home and her feelings of inadequacy. She couldn’t wait to attend the therapeutic boarding school I placed her in.

The Healing Environment

The school’s structured environment, supportive staff, and therapeutic interventions allowed Iris to confront her behavior and role in the events that led her to the psychiatric hospital. In TBS, she developed healthier ways to cope with her emotions. After completing the program, Iris returned home, graduated high school, and went on to college.

The time at the therapeutic boarding school marked the start of her journey of self-discovery and healing. She found strength in being her authentic self, embracing her unique interests, and surrounding herself with friends who accepted and supported her unconditionally.

Today, as an adult, Iris continues to thrive, guided by the lessons and coping skills she learned at the therapeutic boarding school. While her relationship with her father remains complex, she has found solace and support in her close bond with her mother and cherished friendships. Iris’s story serves as a reminder that with persistence, the right support, and professional help, healing is possible.

A Message of  Hope for Parents 

If you’re facing similar challenges with your teenager, know that you are not alone, and resources are available to help your child thrive as they navigate to adulthood. Let’s work together toward a path of healing and growth for you and your family.

#TeenHealing #ParentingSupport #ThriveTogether #MentalHealthJourney

About Self-Harm

  1. Prevalence: According to recent studies,  approximately 17% of teenagers in the U.S., engage in some form of self-harm behaviors at some point during their adolescence. Of this group, a significant portion is teenage girls.

  2. Age Range: Self-harm tends to be more common among girls and starts in early adolescence, between the ages of 11 and 14. 

  3. Why do teenagers cut themselves (Self-Injure Behaviors (SBI)): Cutting and other common self-injurious behaviors (SBI) are a way of emotional regulation. Teenagers who engage in self-harm typically resort to this self-harm as a way to relieve the intense emotions they are experiencing and cannot manage.  These feelings of distress and intense emotions often result in intentional bodily harm.

Parent resources to learn more about this topic: 

Here are three resources that can be helpful:

  1. Crisis Text Line:

    • Website: Crisis Text Line
    • Description: Crisis Text Line provides free 24/7 crisis support via text messaging. Teens can text “HELLO” to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor who can offer support and resources for dealing with self-harm or other emotional issues.
  2. To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA):

    • Website: To Write Love on Her Arms
    • Description: TWLOHA is a non-profit organization that focuses on helping people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts. They provide information, resources, and stories of hope to inspire and encourage teens and young adults.
  3. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

    • Website: NAMI
    • Description: NAMI offers support and resources for individuals and families affected by mental health issues, including self-harm. They have local chapters across the United States that provide support groups and educational programs to help teens and their families navigate mental health challenges.

How I help parents of teens affected by self-harming behaviors?

As a parenting coach and specialized therapeutic and educational consultant with extensive experience in finding suitable placements for struggling teens, my primary focus is on providing comprehensive support to parents of teenagers who are self-harming.

Through personalized consultations and a deep understanding of therapeutic options, I assist parents in identifying appropriate treatment programs and educational environments tailored to their teen’s specific needs.

As a parenting coach, I offer a range of guidance and strategies to help parents understand the underlying causes of self-harm, recognize the warning signs, and effectively communicate with their teens.

Together, we work towards fostering a safe and nurturing environment that promotes healing and growth, empowering both parents and their teens to navigate the challenges of self-harm and build a path towards recovery.


The information provided here is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

Self-harm is a serious issue, and if you or someone you know is struggling with self-harm or related mental health issues, we strongly recommend seeking the guidance of a qualified mental health professional first. 

The content presented here is based on general knowledge and research up to the publication date. Mental health and self-harm can be complex and individualized, and what works for one person may not work for another. and its authors strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, but we cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information presented in this article. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis or experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek immediate help by contacting a crisis hotline or visiting the nearest emergency room. 

In the United States, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) for confidential support 24/7.

Your mental health and well-being are of utmost importance. Please prioritize seeking professional assistance and support when dealing with self-harm or related issues.

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