We were contacted by a School and asked to see Julie, one of their parents, who they found difficult to engage and were concerned as one of her children was at risk of exclusion. Julie said she might be interested in going to counselling.
The School continued working with Julie over a period of six months until finally she was ready for us to contact her.
Julie agreed to an appointment which she then didn’t attend. We contacted Julie again and asked if she was still interested in counselling. Julie said she was interested so we offered her a further appointment. She didn’t attend.
At this point we decided to try a different way of engaging Julie. Our Support Worker phoned her and offered to meet her for a cup of coffee which she accepted. Over coffee Julie disclosed she had a very difficult upbringing and she found trust a huge issue. As a parent she had been repeatedly let down by her partners and experienced domestic abuse. Our Support Worker also noticed she was highly critical of herself for being a bad mother to her children.
Over a number of meetings for coffee and walks along Plymouth Hoe, Julie was able to check out with the Support Worker what counselling was about and what we could offer her if she decided to go. Listening to her worries and concerns the Support Worker offered to accompany Julie on the day of her appointment with Simply Counselling. Listening in an empathic and non-critical way helped Julie to grow in self-esteem and gain enough confidence to attend her initial meeting and a ‘parent and child’ session. Much to her, and our, surprise Julie attended with all of her children.
After the session Julie reported: “If I had known it was going to be like this, I would’ve come six months ago! Being able to talk has really helped!”