Living on the Razor’s Edge

Matthew D. Selekman and Bill O’Hanlon

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This text aims to provide therapists with a practice-orientated guidebook for working with self-harming adolescents, a growing and challenging treatment population.

It presents a flexible client-informed solution-brief family therapy model for self-harming adolescents that integrates the best elements of solution-focused, narrative, postmodern, strategic, cognitive and expressive therapy approaches with Native American healing methods and rituals. Numerous connection-building therapeutic experiments and rituals are presented for helping to foster closer and more meaningful relationships between parents and adolescents.

Many of the therapeutic techniques and strategies presented in this volume are empirically supported by research on adolescent development, protective factors of resilient children and adolsecents and treatment outcome studies. The book contains case examples and interview transcripts of culturally diverse clients. The text also demonstrates how to do one-person family therapy with adolescents where conjoint family work proved to be futile due to serious parental or marital difficulties, a lack of family support or to better meet the developmental needs of the adolescents.

“Living on the Razor’s Edge” presents a practical and comprehensive multi-systemic family assessment framework to guide therapists in determining at what systems levels to target interventions.

Another feature of this work is Selekman’s “Stress-Busters’ Leadership” group. This eight-session, skill-building psycho-educational group was specifically designed to meet the unique needs of self-harming adolescents and can be implemented in any school or treatment setting.

Living on the Razor's Edge


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