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Transforming Lives – A summary of a long term client

By Maggie Phillips, Fegans’ Counsellor

Due to the temporary relationship of client and counsellor we may never discover how clients lives progress after our sessions end. When we start to work with a client we don’t know how long we will work with them, sometimes it is a short time and with others it is for a much longer time.

I started to work with Karen* in 2006, she was 14 at the time, struggling with going to school, her parents had separated when she was 10, her grandmother had recently died when our sessions first started, she struggled socially and was quite isolated. Everyday life was a real struggle for this girl, particularly at school, more socially than academically.

Karen was absent more times than she was there, school welfare was involved and mum was threatened with court action due to her lack of attendance.

Over the next ten years Karen came to me several times at different stages of her life as she learnt to deal with the various challenges life presented. It was a privilege to help her to find her own pathway through her difficult years.

Our last session together was a hard session for both of us to say goodbye. We had journeyed together on and off for many years, we rode the roller coaster of life, what a bumpy ride we had at times, but what joy and celebration at times as well.

She sends me a text every so often to let me know how her work is going. She has gone from a lost and isolated teenager to a young woman, she is a butterfly who has grown her wings and is embarking on the next stage of her life.

Karen is pursuing her love of singing and has her wedding to look forward to in the future. Life may still be a challenge for her at times, however she is now more confident and more able to meet these challenges head on.

*Although client permission has been given for this story to be shared, we have changed her name and photo for client confidentiality purposes.