Case Study – Joe aged 16

Joe, 16, came to therapy following treatment for a medical condition.  Whilst he had recovered physically from surgery and treatment, he was having difficulty at school getting into regular conflict situations with teachers.  He was finding it difficult to concentrate in class and his schoolwork was deteriorating.

Joe used drawing and painting to explore his feelings around having been unwell, and his fears around his future.  He made collages depicting his experiences and used art postcards to reflect his feelings.  In the sandtray he began to tell the story of how it was for him in the classroom before, during and after having arguments with teachers.  Joe began to both resolve his traumatic experiences around being seriously unwell and gain some power over his fears for the future.  He came to an awareness of what triggered arguments with teachers and developed new strategies for feeling calm. He practised new ways of letting the teachers know what he needed in more positive ways.

Joe came for therapy for one year after which he made a collage depicting his feeling that he would have a happy, successful future.  He said that the psychotherapy had been “an amazing experience,” reporting having learned much about himself in a way which had increased his confidence.  In the final session, he said he felt very proud of himself for everything he had achieved and the person he had become.