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Case Studies

Harriet's Story

Harriet was referred to our school service due to low mood, self-harm, and a history of neglect. She often felt left to manage her despair by herself, which mirrored her childhood experiences of neglect. She also struggled to allow herself to feel angry at the adults in her life, which resulted in her turning this anger in on herself. In the absence of a container for her distress, self-harm and suicidal ideation became methods of coping with the trauma of her past and the fear, anger, and distress of her present.

Over the first few months of therapy, Harriet slowly learned to trust her therapist, she stopped self-harming and, as time progressed, allowed herself to express her anger. In addition to seeing her therapist weekly, she attended regular check-ups with her GP, and the school were keeping a close eye on her. Near the summer break, Harriet began self-harming again, which was linked to her fear of losing the support of her school and therapy over the summer break. She presented to A&E where she was referred to CAMHS. Her therapist communicated with her GP and CAMHs and asked the GP to offer weekly check-in appointments during the break, which was offered, providing a holding space during the long summer break. This network of professionals came together again when Harriet self-harmed more significantly and was hospitalised in the autumn term. The mobilisation of the adults around her and the repeated experiences of adults coming together to think about her and attend to her needs proved invaluable to her recovery. This experience was something that she felt was lacking in her home environment. The organisations acted as a parental unit coming together to attend to Harriet’s physical safety and importantly her emotional wellbeing.

In Harriet’s sessions her therapist was able to bear witness and withstand the strength of her pain, hopelessness, and anger. The experience of a robust adult, who was able to manage and digest her pain and anger, allowed Harriet to slowly believe that she too could bare her feelings. She slowly learned to place boundaries in her relationships and built a stronger sense of herself. Exploring how her past was impacting her present, provided a different perspective on her challenges and she was able to see that the future has not been written, and that she has agency and choice in what happens to her. She was no longer hopeless and instead became hopeful.

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

Link to more information