Will* is a fourteen year old boy who is suffering bullying at school. He used to be quite outgoing but is now refusing to attend school and stays in his room gaming, into the early hours of the morning.
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.
Will had been targeted by a group of boys in the year above, and found that avoidance was his ‘best way out’ and so had started by playing truant.
The counsellor helped him talk about the feelings he had when confronted by that group of boys; the fear, the anxiety, the panic all made him feel sick and he felt alone. The counsellor worked with him to talk about his options, the people to whom he could turn, and he drew a picture that he could keep with him, of all the resources and people who could help.
Will, with the help of his counsellor, started back at school, at first for a few hours at a time. With the school’s help, he worked with his counsellor, who made sure he felt safe.
The counselling progressed to helping Will realise that he had the ability to overcome problems, that could be a valuable asset to him whatever the issues in the future.
*name changed for client confidentiality