James aged 17, stopped fully attending school in year 8, had sporadic times at school, unable to leave the house due to high anxiety, home life was very chaotic.
James agreed to try counselling as he knew that he wanted to attend college and that he needed to begin to take control of his life as opposed to his anxiety controlling him, we worked together for 15 months.
It really was painful for him to attend the first few sessions as leaving the house was difficult, he always had to have someone to bring him, even though he only lived a short walk from where he was being seen. Once he was in the building he was fine. There were times when I would get a message to say that he was so bad he just wasn’t able to come. I would reassure him and tell him we would try again next week.
He persevered and really pushed himself to come and we celebrated this.
The day came for his interview at college, this was a huge step for him and his parent went with him.
We talked about his experience at our next session and the realisation for him was that he had actually enjoyed it, yes it had been scary and way out of his comfort zone, but he was pleased that he had achieved it. His next big challenge was going to college on the bus. We talked about all the challenges that this posed for him and what he could perhaps do, he arranged to travel with friends, however this still meant him getting on the bus on his own as his friends got on before him, but they always sat where he could see them when he got on.
We worked together for his first year at college and there were times that life was extremely difficult He struggled with some of the other students in his classes and his attendance wasn’t as regular as it could be. He still missed some of our sessions however, he managed his first year and he started to go out with friends and was beginning to take control of his life.
He went on holiday abroad for the first time, got himself a part-time job and started his second year at college. I spoke to him on the phone after Christmas as there had been a bit of a blip and he just wanted reassurance that the decision he made had been the right one.
Counselling can have such a positive impact of the paths that young people are able to choose throughout their lives. To think that James initially struggled to walk down his road and has now travelled abroad is a massive leap forward. We are so proud of him and the support his Fegans’ Counsellor gave him to make this happen. If you know a young person may be in need of a little support then please contact Fegans to find out more.