Her family had broken apart, her father had abandoned her – and now Alice was falling apart too. But your generous gifts enabled Fegans, part of Spurgeons Children’s Charity, to help her to heal.
Alice blamed herself for her home situation. She had fallen out with her friends. She hated herself, she was angry, she trusted nobody… She began to self-harm, in part to punish herself for her family’s breakup, in part to stop the constant stream of conflicting thoughts and emotions chasing round in her mind.
Fegans counsellor Katie began working with Alice. “She believed that no-one would do anything for her without wanting something in return,” Katie says, “and, if she made a mistake, she should be punished, even if that meant punishing herself.
She had been sent to live with a new carer who was challenging that learning. But Alice didn’t yet know if she could trust what the carer said to be true.”
Katie worked with Alice for eight months. She says, “Over that time, I was amazed to see the healing that came out of her growing self-awareness and her learning to accept herself. Alice made the decision that people don’t have to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but that people are people, and they sometimes make good choices and sometimes bad ones.”
Alice now she accepts she can ask for help and doesn’t need to punish herself when she makes mistakes. As a result, she has found her confidence, developed healthy relationships with friends in and out of school and stopped self-harming.
Katie says, “The most powerful change of all is that Alice now likes herself and is finally allowing her carer to love her for who she is, and not who she thinks she should be. What a privilege and honour to witness this healing unfold right in front of my eyes.”
Free mental health support downloads
Do you know a young person struggling with mental health challenges? Many are, in the current turbulent times. Our free downloads will help you – or them – understand and cope with issues such as self-harm, depression and eating disorders. Visit www.fegans.org.uk/mental-health-handbooks
About Fegans Children’s Counselling Services
Fegans counsellors work one to one with children in our centres, online and in primary and secondary schools throughout the South East.
We also provide parenting support for families with significant challenges such as supporting those with additional needs. We deliver much of this work through five town-wide family hubs in partnership with schools and our own preschool family hubs.
To learn more about our Schools Counselling services click here.