Steven*  is a 16 year old involved in Comprehensive Counseling services through OHU Charleston.  When he started counseling he was a shy young man who struggled with talking about his feelings related to his family’s dysfunction.  Steven’s mother was already receiving counseling services through One Hope United and he observed her depressive symptoms improving.  Witnessing first hand her relief from depression, and having her spend more time with him, encouraged Steven to ask his DCFS case manager to refer him for counseling services too.

When he began meeting with his counselor he knew he wanted to feel better about himself and his family’s situation but it was hard to put his thoughts and feelings into words.  Steven kept in mind if it worked for mom, it can work for me. He quickly engaged and was able to share that as the oldest sibling in the family, he felt responsible and guilty for not protecting his younger brother from harm which led to DCFS being involved with his family.  His counselor helped him process his feelings and challenge his thought distortions.

Through this process he became more verbal and outgoing in session and quickly made progress to achieve his goals he set forth for counseling.  The counselor noted as he opened up in sessions, he was reporting an emergence of being more outgoing at school and in other settings.  As the counselor was finalizing discharge planning with him, he shared a conversation he had with a group of peers at school about a book series he was reading.  He had an a-ha moment in session and stated with excitement, “I’m really more like the other kids now than I am different.”  Through counseling, Steven was able to resolve his feelings about himself in relation to his family, but also experienced personal growth and insight as a maturing young man.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the family.  Photo above is a stock image.