Case Studies

Will’s Story

Will*, 14, is suffering from bullying at school. He used to be quite outgoing but is now refusing to attend school and stays in his room gaming. His mother cannot get him out of bed and even when she does, he will not go to school. He did agree, however, to see a Fegans’ counsellor, who helped him talk about the root causes of his school refusal. He had been targeted by a group of boys in the year above and found that avoiding school was his ‘best way out’.

The counsellor helped him talk about the feelings he had when confronted by that group of boys; the fear, anxiety and panic. The counsellor worked with him to talk about his options and the people to whom he could turn. He drew a picture that he could keep with him of all the resources and people who could help. This helped him feel safe and he returned to school.

*Name and image changed for client confidentiality


Sarah’s Story

Sarah*, 14, is starting her GCSE’s and her mum and dad have just split up. Some days she’s at mum’s house, some at dad’s. It didn’t used to be like this. She can’t concentrate at school, her friends’ parents are still together and her brother seems to be coping much better than her.

Seeing a Fegans’ counsellor gave Sarah a safe place to voice her feelings, feelings she felt she couldn’t express to anyone else – her confusion (I had no idea it was that bad), her fears for the future (how am I going to cope with this?), her anger (it’s not fair) and sadness (everything has changed). Counselling couldn’t get mum and dad back together but over time it did help Sarah accept her new life.

*Name and image changed for client confidentiality


Becky’s Story

Becky*, 15, had been self harming for months. She wanted to stop but couldn’t. When things got too much with her friends or she’d had yet another row with her boyfriend, cutting her legs seemed the only way to relieve the stress but then she’d hate herself for it. It all came out when she was changing for PE and her friend spotted the signs and encouraged her to go to counselling, which Becky did not feel would help.

To Becky’s surprise counselling did help. Becky learned how she had kept everything inside and why. She realised how she’d been burying her worries about mum’s cancer and about getting behind at school. After all, mum would normally be the first person she talked to. Becky’s counsellor offered her a safe place to express all these feelings and over time she no longer needed to self harm to cope.

*Name and image changed for client confidentiality


Sam’s Story

Sam*, 12, had been finding secondary school harder and harder. It was huge in comparison to his village primary school – so many buildings, so many people, so much banter. He felt he didn’t belong and became completely overwhelmed. He couldn’t concentrate in class because he dreaded social time, waiting for the next boy to shove him into the lockers.

Over time counselling helped Sam to understand himself and his personality better and taught him to be more assertive. He now spends his lunchtimes with his new friends in the music block and can stand up for himself more. School isn’t perfect but he has found ways to cope and feels better about himself.

*Name and image changed for client confidentiality

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