Since starting school Thomas had always been an easy going calm and happy boy. He was a high achiever at school and was popular with the other children. This all changed in when he reached year 5.
Thomas was referred to Learning Space because he was showing uncharacteristic aggressive and challenging behaviours both at home and at school. He was finding it difficult to concentrate at school and his progress had slowed. At home he was becoming withdrawn from the family and had frequent outburst of anger – he would sometimes hurt his younger brother and kick his mum.
Thomas started having weekly 1:1 sessions with the initial focus on self- esteem and self-confidence. He began to express his burden of worries and stress caused by the impending separation of his parents. Both parents were still at home, but the atmosphere was strained with frequent arguments. Thomas knew that Mum and Dad were going to sell the family home and find separate places to live.
Mum and Dad were unaware of the worry and strain that this was putting on Thomas and he didn’t feel that he could talk about his worries because he did not want to upset them.
He was keen for me to ask Mum to join us for a paired session so that he could begin to share his feelings and worries. Mum agreed to join us. We made a ‘Best Hopes’ potion and Thomas and Mum took turns to choose and add ingredients; each time they added an ingredient they shared a best hope.
Thomas managed to say how he was feeling and Mum realised how much the uncertainty and separation was affecting him. Mum and Dad then worked together with the children to draw up a contact plan that would work for them all. They made sure that the children knew what was happening and found other ways to sort out issues e.g. emails rather than arguments
Things at home have now changed – the family is working together to find a positive way forward.
Thomas can talk to both parents and they are open and honest with him. Thomas is happy at school again and he is doing well in lessons.