Case Study 4 : Self Harming Youth

What does working with Hollie look like?

To help you understand what an holistic framework might look like, I’ve put together some Case Studies based on real life sessions.

All names and identifying information have been removed to protect clients.


Wade is a 16yo private school student with excellent grades and a group of great mates. His mum is worried because Wade doesn’t seem like his usual self, and she has seen cuts on his leg. He argues with his sister and locks himself in his room after dinner every night.

Wade has researched depression, anxiety and self harming. He knows he’s not suicidal and he’s tried to trick himself into thinking happy thoughts, but it just doesn’t make any difference.


Session 1 :

Hollie works through the intake with Wade, including asking what is fun, his future hopes and dreams, and what he’d like to be different right now. She notes his intelligence and academic mind, and asks if he would appreciate having the psychology and physiology explained more deeply.

They have a detailed discussion including ages and stages of human development, rites of passage, the polyvagal theory and circadian rhythms. Wade finds the information about Fight, Flight and Freeze mammalian response particularly helpful in explaining what’s going on when he locks himself in his room.


Session 2:

Although he intellectually understands why he does it, Wade is disappointed in himself for still cutting this week. He feels guilt for not being able to stop. Hollie works with Wade to come up with other actions that might release the emotions when they build up. They set a natural movement challenge between them: Who can do the longest (for time) deep squat by next week.


Session 3 :

Wade has won the deep squat challenge this week and he did find it helpful to have something else to focus on in times of emotional build up. Hollie coaches Wade on techniques for down-regulation to use alongside release techniques. They discuss the need to balance moving with being still, and relate it to natural movement, mindful eating and somatic breathing exercises. Wade commits to practicing one down-regulation technique per day.


Session 4 :

Wade has not cut himself this week. He talks about feeling stuck between being a child and an adult. Hollie shows him resources for young men’s rite of passage retreats and sends an introduction email for Wade with a particular group running Boys Wilderness Camps.


Session 5 :

Wade’s anxiety and stress have dropped from a 9 at the first session to 2-3 now. He feels capable of managing small stress everyday, and recognises that if Big stresses pop up again he can return to see Hollie. He is excited about attending Boys Camp this term holiday, and being outside at night with other boys and men. Wade feels as though things will keep getting better from here.


This is an example of holistic therapy with Hollie, based on previous cases.

Hollie Bakerboljkovac sees clients as part of a 10 part Session Program, in Braidwood and online. Find out about the Promises she makes to the people she works with here or phone 0482 955 340.


Love you,

Mrs Hollie Bakerboljkovac PACFA Reg. Clinical 25488

The article Case Study 4 : Self Harming Youth was published by Hollie Bakerboljkovac, for the Institute for Self Crafting.

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