Dalia’s self-harming Behavior

Dalia exhibits necessary behaviors which are considered not to be normal even by her parents (Zastrow, 2016). For example, the argumentative behavior, especially with authority figures, does her more harm than good in her life.  At the same time, physical altercations with her peers, verbal combativeness, highly sexualized behaviors and more so, her impulsive nature is some of the self-harming behaviors which she exhibits.

Theoretical approaches and practical skills you would employ in working with Dalia.

Cognitive therapy is the best approach which should be applied to this situation. In the case of Dalia, cognitive therapy will help in creating an emphasis on what she thinks, rather than what she does. Dysfunctional thinking will be professionally approached, hence dysfunctional emotions and behaviors changed. Skills I would employ include; remaining patient, listening to the victim, and professional interaction to get to understand the situation at a better angle.

How might familial relationships result in Dalia’s self-harming behavior?

Dalia seems to have everything she wants in life, including all the comfort and freedom.  She believes that her mother is always trying to control her and at the same time, her father lets her do anything she wants (Moorey, 2010).  She does not have a perfect relationship with her siblings a well. In my view, this familial relationship is rather intensive and complicated, which might be the sole reason as to why Dalia exhibits the behaviors she has in her life.  No one seems to be there to look after her, and nobody is present for her to talk to. She feels very neglected and alone, with no significant meaning to life.




Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (10th ed.)Boston, MA:  Cengage Learning.

Moorey, S. (2010). Managing the unmanageable: Cognitive behavior therapy for deliberate        self-harm. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 24(2), 135–149. Retrieved from the Walden        Library databases.



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Good post.  Currently the stage of development using Erickson’s model would put Dalia in the identity versus role confusion stage.  However, there is a stage where she may also not have completely mastered due to her sickle cell anemia.  What stage is that and how could this be affecting her now ?