I was about to throw in the towel…

…but then a parent and another treatment provider (social worker #2) with a fresh pair of eyes stepped up. Before my client was due for an appointment with his therapist, I was feeling hopeless. He was engaged in some risky behaviors in the community and school. He largely refuses to talk to anyone and his family was not being consistent with bring him to treatment. He required a specialized evaluation for some risky behaviors in the community and this case was about to be closed due to the parent not bringing him. Myself and “social worker #2” from this program put our heads together to do some different things.

Let’s focus on engaging with the parent to find out what the barriers to treatment consistency were. The parent felt like things were hopeless as well and was developing her own physical symptoms of stress. “Social worker #2” did a great job listening and engaging with this parent.  She talked with the parent about the need for consistency for him to heal (PTSD diagnosis). Although a controversial topic, she educated the parent about him sometimes being in a dissociative state. In terms of some of his symptoms, this really made sense to the parent.  I also gave some educational material about PTSD in Spanish, as she speaks good but often broken English.  The client made it to his therapy appointment today and I met with his mom to coordinate school, legal, and community issues.  The parent reported that she felt more relaxed and hopeful. He still has a long road but this was a good start. Never underestimate the power of reframing, trying something different, and a new pair of eyes to look at a case. Stay hopeful and never throw in the towel. 🙂


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