Rachel is 15 years old and has to deal with complex family issues due to the breakdown of parental relationships. She had an extremely strained relationship with her mother and her attendance and behaviour at school caused severe concern, leading to several exclusions and for period of time being considered for transfer to another school.
Rachel was referred to The Junction for support around her feelings of anger. On first meeting, Rachel appeared defensive about her perceived difficulties. She disclosed that in the past, she had been referred to other services where she felt under pressure to talk about her problems despite her not feeling ready to. This led to her feeling quite suspicious of professionals and reluctant to be referred to services.
After a few appointments with Rachel and the project worker they built a relationship – she often made comment in her Pastoral Support Planning Meetings (PSP) that the only support she wanted and felt she needed was from The Junction. It was in these meetings that Rachel felt most under pressure and it was not uncommon for her to throw furniture or physically threaten her mum or teaching staff then leave the room in a very distressed state.
After more one-to-one appointments between Rachel and the project worker, Rachel was able to spend time reflecting upon her feelings and how best to manage these feelings both inside and outside of school, identifying triggers and appropriate coping mechanisms.
Rachel began to recognise the times when she felt particularly angry, what caused her anger, how she dealt with it and what she could do differently to manage her anger.
The Junction, with Rachel’s consent, worked indirectly with Rachel’s mother, offering support to help her to understand Rachel’s position and to explain the work that they were undertaking.
The most recent PSP meeting we attended was very positive. Rachel did not get angry nor did she leave the meeting – all who were present were both surprised and happy to see the change in Rachel’s behaviour and how well she managed what would have normally been a very stressful situation.
Rachel’s attendance and behaviour at school has improved dramatically and she is working towards her Year 11 exams. As a result she no longer receives Pastoral Support. Her relationship with her Mother is much improved and stable.