Summer Family

In This Issue
Welcome and Announcements
Help for Those Who Self-Injure
Personality Disorders
CFI Author Resources

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Even Caring Families Encounter Problems...but Healthy Families Seek Solutions

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Salley Sutmiller
Jamie Brandon
Tim Doty

Mental Health Calendar
Summer Family

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our April CFI newsletter. Our goal for our newsletter is to bring relevant articles, announcements and links to issues related to families, marriages, parenting and mental health concerns.

This month's newsletter:

  1. Mrs. Jill Butler, M.S., LMFT writes a helpful article on how friends and family can respond to those who self-injure.
  2. Dr. Dale Doty, Ph.D. follows up on his interview series with Tony Cooke and discusses personality disorders.
  3. Links to CFI Author Resources.

Helping a Loved One Who Self-Injures: 5 Things to Consider

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Self injury tends to be a misunderstood behavior. The most common assumptions of self injury are that it is a suicide attempt or an attempt to seek attention. In reality the most common reasons for self harm are: attempts to relieve and express overwhelming emotional pain; attempts to control what feels like an out of control life; and in some instances, self injury is used to relieve feelings of numbness.
When someone you love harms themselves through cutting, burning and other ways, it is difficult to understand why that person would do something that seems so extreme and painful. It is important to realize that even if you do not understand it, self-harm is an outlet for some to cope with intense emotional issues.
The way in which you react can have an enormous impact on your loved one. Here are a few suggestions:
1)    Do not overreact. Be calm and understanding.
2)    Do not judge her or make her feel stupid. Be compassionate.
3)    Listen to the feelings and the struggle, but do not problem solve.
4)    Do not expect him to stop immediately. He needs to develop other means of coping and this may take time.
5)    Help her find a professional to talk to. A trained therapist can help your loved one develop alternative coping skills and sort through issues with which she struggles.
Self injury is a growing method of coping with emotional pain in our society. As a friend or family member your response to and understanding of this growing problem is vital. This is an opportunity to show love and compassion to someone who may desperately need it.
Jill Butler, MS, LMFT

Personality Disorders

personality d/o imgI recently collaborated on a series of interviews explaining what personalities are and how they manifest themselves in the context of the church. Those interviews can be found at: Tony Cooke Ministries. This article helps explain, in broad terms, the challenges you may face in interacting with personality disorders.

The classification of personality disorders is often misunderstood. We have all come in contact with people who have such disorders, whether we have recognized them or not. The people with these conditions can be some of the most difficult people we will ever encounter.  Some of these people seem strange, others can be very hurtful toward others, and even others are dangerous.  It helps to recognize these conditions, to gain perspective on our challenging encounters.

People with personality disorders are often at odds with others' expectations. They think, feel, and act in very different ways than others around them. People with these conditions often have difficulty at work, school, and in interpersonal relationships. It is difficult for a person with these issues to adapt or change in order to meet others' expectations.

Please read on for more information about classification and help for personality disorders.

Dale R. Doty, M.S.W., Ph.D.
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CFI Author Resources

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Dr. Dale Doty, Ph.D.
Personality Disorders in the Church
(2 CDs) $12.00

On a Lighter Note

Disclaimer:  The views of cartoons do not necessarily represent the views of Christian Family Institute or its staff.  They are for comic relief and are intended for entertainment purposes only.

If we can be of service, please contact CFI to set up a time to consult with one of our counselors.  We also provide psychological assessments and evaluations for ADHD and educational needs as well as pre-marital evaluations and counseling.  To view our full range of services, please visit
Timothy Doty, Psy.D. on behalf of
Christian Family Institute

Our Staff includes:
Dale R. Doty, Ph.D.
William B. Berman, Ph.D.
G. Bowden McElroy, M.Ed.
Eric L. Clements, M.S.
Jill E. Butler, M.S.
Salley Sutmiller, M.S.
Lois K. Trost, M.S.W.
Jamie Brandon, M.S.
Amber R. Sherrell, M.S.
Timothy D. Doty, Psy.D.
Stephen Harnish, M.D.

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Christian Family Institute | 6846 S. Canton Ave, Suite 501 | Tulsa | OK | 74136