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Case Studies

Anna's Story

Anna’s mother was worried about her aggressive outbursts, the strained relationship between them, Anna’s sadness about not having contact with her father and a concern that Anna did not want to talk about her feelings. Anna’s mother received therapy in the past which she found helpful and wanted her daughter to have the same opportunity to have a space in which she could talk about her feelings and worries. When Anna was invited to attend an initial assessment, she was able to express that she struggled with her relationship with her parents; and she was curious about the help she might receive. She was offered AET. Over the weeks that followed, she attended her sessions and initially found relief in having a space for herself, but she soon expressed how she was not ready to make further use of this space and that the wish to have therapy was not hers, but her mother’s. The therapist continued to explore with her what this may mean and how difficult it was for her to receive help from someone else. Eventually it was clear that Anna felt forced to attend the therapy and the therapist made it clear that Anna had a choice to attend or to end the sessions.

Anna’s mother was furious with both the therapist and Anna for not continuing with the work that she so much hoped would help Anna. The mother was then offered some parent work sessions to try and understand why it was so difficult for her to accept that Anna might not be ready to take up therapy at this point in time. What emerged over the time of the parent work was that mother’s mother died when she was the same age that Anna was now. The mother felt that she did not know how to be a mother of an older adolescent. She wanted a better life for her daughter, but the trauma she suffered and the anxiety she had about her daughter’s future, led her to control and pressure her daughter to such an extent that their relationship has suffered and that she did not feel able to parent Anna. Giving mother a space to talk about her past and to understand what Anna’s adolescence has triggered in her, helped her to take a step back and give Anna more space to make her own decisions about what she wanted to do and what help she would like to take up. The mother reported that Anna received excellent grades in her exams after the intervention came to an end.

We offer a range of talking therapies for young people, including one-to-one, group, and family/parent work.

Link to more information