A couple coming for pre-marital therapy, questioning their own abilities to commit to this relationship for the remainder of their lives began to come weekly to therapy. The couple struggled with a history of infidelity (within a pre-marital relationship when they first got together), leading to continuing issues of trust which also were exacerbated by experiences throughout lives of their families of origin. It was common for the couple to experience conflict more than weekly and to often notice all the negatives within the relationship, rather than the positives. There was blame and responsibility for one another’s emotions, and a lack of emotion expression all together from one of the members of the relationship.
Since counseling, the couple has gotten married, has been thinking of starting a family. They no longer blame or give responsibility to the other. They each express their emotions vividly to one another, accepting one another for their strengths and weaknesses. They truly love one another and mainly just want to spend time together and show one another support and care. This couple enjoys their quality time together and wants to ensure to never lose the love they have gained for each other, in addition to the relationship that has grown between them.
“Chris” is a 7 year old child who was brought to Worcester Youth and Family Counseling by his Aunt, who had custody of him at the time. He had experienced a lot at a young age, and because of this, he displayed a lot of anger and defiance. When he was first seen, he struggled in school and at home. Chris had a difficult time relating to his peers and getting along with his siblings. He could not express emotion appropriately and often acted out with his behavior.
Now, a year later, Chris is doing very well. He is involved in numerous community organizations, is well adjusted at school, and has strengthened his relationship with his siblings. Initially in sessions, he would get upset or angry at least one time during the session; he has now learned to talk about his feelings and express verbally when he is upset, versus showing me. Chris is proud of himself and loves to seek positive attention, which speaks volumes.
“John” is a 16 y/o Caucasian male who came to Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services for therapy. He had a history of legal trouble beginning at 13, and more recently he had recently gotten in trouble for and for riding in the car with a friend who was intoxicated. John moved out of his mom and step-father’s house because he didn’t like the rules. He lived with his dad and step-mother, but talked about how he couldn’t wait to turn 18 and move out on his own.
During the course of individual counseling, John began to increase his ability to identify risky thinking. He started to tune into the inner voice that knew when a social situation or friend’s suggestion was going to lead to negative consequences. This led to real behavior change. After making these changes, John noticed that his relationship with his parents and step-parents wasn’t very good and he expressed a desire to work on that. John said family therapy made him realize that it was important to spend time with his family when he can, because when he gets older he won’t be able to do it as much.
John said that he learned about how to stop and think before doing things. He said that he realized that even though sometimes it seemed like he didn’t care about other people, he really had thoughts and feelings that he just didn’t understand before. John is doing well in school and has not had any legal or behavior problems in 9 months. John is taking the SATs in May and has started to plan for college.
“Sara” is a 42 year old female who entered therapy at Worcester Youth and Family several years ago due to depression, anxiety, and being in a series of unhealthy and abusive relationships. She had very little family support and was in the midst of leaving a poor relationship. Sara’s self-esteem was very low and she did not trust herself enough to “make it” on her own.
During the course of therapy, Sara learned about what was contributing to her feelings and choices in partners. She developed ways to rebuild her self-confidence and believe in herself. Her fears of being alone subsided as she had success with standing up for herself in bad relationships, supporting herself, and raising her son by herself. Sara also learned ways to obtain social support and how to engage in good self care. Sara is now in a successful and non-abusive relationship, has little to no depression and anxiety, and is hopeful about her future. “I actually feel whole now.”