With permission from my client I am able to write this success. However names have been changed.
Missy was a 13 year old girl with Reactive Attachment disorder, brought in by her aunt who she called mom. Her bio mom was a drug addict but did stay in contact with Missy. Even though Missy hated her. She still wondered what it would be like to live with her.
Missy came in as a client her aunt said she was lying over crazy stuff, stealing, hoarding, disrespectful to aunt and out of control rages frequently. Starting out treatment Missy was as sweet as could be, she minimized all her behaviors and didn’t trust me. She tested me in telling me things she thought I would go and tell her aunt. When I reassured her that even though her aunt has access to all her records, if its not detrimental and I feel it won’t hurt her or someone else, what we say is confidential and her aunt agreed to that too.
Little by little she began to trust me, we did talk therapy, art activities for expression of feelings and other creative techniques. She began to talk more in depth about her issues, gave insight into her behaviors and talked about how her mom chose drugs over her.
Aunt was very pleased with her behaviors and Missy improved her self-esteem and self-image and also became respectful towards aunt. I was thrilled with this and that is why I do what I do, we don’t always see the successes and its those little successes that give us the incentive to go on… this success was HUGE… and I had to share… because children with RAD rarely succeed as much as Missy did, she no longer sleeps with a knife and aunt is no longer afraid of her.
She was terminated successfully and even said thank you to me for helping her…
Hope this gives incentive to those working with challenging clients!
Kimberly Beck is a counselor with a special interest in Self-injury. Other interests are PTSD, trauma, and Borderline personality disorder.