Paul, aged 13
Paul, who had an ADHD diagnosis, was first referred to Learning Space because he was experiencing anxiety and disturbing images at night.
We set goals together at the outset and he was clear about what he wanted from the sessions: to be able to get to sleep at night as well as get back to sleep after a nightmare; to learn some ways to cope with anxiety; to learn some strategies to manage focus / attention at school and to learn more about ADHD.
Paul was experiencing distressing images due to some inappropriate content he had accessed online. The images were present in his dreams and causing him great distress. At the time of referral he was only sleeping for five hours per night. We spent some time learning about anxiety….what it is, why we experience it and different responses to it. We also talked about sleep hygiene and how to try and create the best routine to sleep well every night. We learnt some thinking and imagination tricks, harnessing his ability to ‘daydream’ (his words) and changing the disturbing images to look ‘silly’. This worked quickly in the space of about four sessions due to Paul’s high level of engagement with the sessions. He enjoyed finding out more about ADHD and the different ways in which this impacts on his everyday life.
By the end of our time together Paul was sleeping for about eight hours most nights and, happily, was disturbed by images less often. He was now questioning the negative stigma associated with his ADHD and began to look at the strengths of having a neurodiverse brain – such as the skill of hyperfocus. Using a scale of 0 – 10 where 10 represents goals have been fully achieved, his final evaluation of our work together showed the great progress he had made in all areas: