Recommended Reading: My Diary Unlocked

by Lucie Hemmen on September 29, 2014

When I mentioned “cutting” to a group of parents concerned about high levels of academic stress, one dad in the audience assumed I was talking about cutting class.  When it was explained to him, he looked as if he might need to leave the room.
Janet Larsons new book My Diary Unlocked is packed with very personal, powerful, touching accounts from the lives of teen girls.  I was honored be quoted on the subject of self-cutting.
“When Lucie Hemmen, PhD, author of Parenting a Teen Girl, introduced the toic of “cutting” in one of her lectures, some parents assumed she meant cutting classes at school. Jaws dropped when these parents discovered the word’s actual meaning. It is an alarming fact that more and more teenagers are cutting themselves, burning their skin or engaging other forms of self-injury as a way to make physical, and therefore more manageable, their painful or uncontrollable emotions. As Dr. Hemmen explained:
“Cutting is a coping mechanism, which means it is a way to regulate feelings. Unfortunately, it “works” in that teens report it makes them feel better. They feel like that they can control it, keep it secret, see and feel a “result,” and express emotions people don’t seem to like, especially anger and sadness. To make things worse, the brain wires quickly for this behavior, creating a stress + cutting = relief circuit that becomes harder and harder to break over time.”

To learn more about Janet Larsen’s book, My Diary Unlocked, visit  A diary for girls with awesome quotes on each page is sold with the book.


Talking to Teens – Replacing Conflict with Positive Communication

February 13, 2013

Lucie Hemmen to Speak at Parent Education Event for Santa Cruz High School Wednesday February 13, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Firefly Coffeehouse, 131 Front St., across from the Warriors Arena. Join Clinical Psychologist and author Lucie Hemmen, PhD., for inspiring advice on how to translate your teen’s moodiness, reduce family stress, and re-establish loving and positive […]

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Process Painting Workshop: Painting the Inner Landscape

October 12, 2012

A Workshop for Teen Girls on November 11, 2012 with Lucie Hemmen, Ph.D. and Majio Years ago when I lived in San Francisco, I took a Process Painting workshop. It was held in a beautiful, light drenched space with rows of colored paint in the middle of a room. Each “artist” had a large piece […]

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Trusting Teens

January 8, 2012

The topic of trust has been up a lot lately, at home and in my practice. As parents, we navigate decision-making with and for our teens on a daily basis. When they’re young teens, we make a lot of the calls. As they get older, it’s appropriate to recede whenever possible allowing them more freedom […]

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