A 16-year-old female client experienced emotional and sexual abuse that she kept to herself for years. This caused the client to shut down and to fall into a long-term depression. When the client first started coming to therapy, she was at the end of the road, reported being hopeless about her future and dealing with daily suicidal ideation and had attempted suicide multiple times. She was also on the edge of dropping out of high school, angry, unpredictable, suspicious, and emotional. Her family was puzzled, confused and unable to understand their daughter, creating an environment of constant arguments and toxic relationships.
Through patience and nonjudgmental understanding of the client's behavior and the family struggles, the client was able to slowly build trust, open up and express her childhood trauma. With Ms. Beleli's guidance, the client processed her trauma through multiple methods, identified unnecessary guilt and burdens that the client and parents carried. We worked on self-esteem, addressed the parent-child relationship and negative family communication style. While dealing with her trauma, the client was also referred to our psychiatrist for medication to help her cope with the major depressive symptoms. With a collaborative team and client consistency, she discovered the impact of the trauma, relieved years of pent up emotions, and learned ways to manage the depression symptoms on her own. Toward the end of her therapy, the client reported having accepted herself and being hopeful and able to focus on her school and her future life goals.