Casey was 15 and feeling devastated over the sudden passing of a good friend. She felt that she couldn’t confide in her parents who had just separated and were busy organising their own lives. Not knowing how to comfort herself, Casey began self-harming to dull the pain. 

Her parents contacted Family Works to request counselling for Casey. When Casey met Family Works counsellor Sharon,* she opened up to her straight away.

Casey felt relieved at being able to talk to someone who could really listen. 

Casey disclosed that though her grief seemed insurmountable, it was the daily family conflict that destroyed her spirit.

Surprised at the revelation, Casey’s parents sought individual counselling. They made it their priority to learn how to become better parents and sought help in planning a smooth transition for Casey’s sake. 

Meanwhile, Casey learned new coping mechanisms. She engaged in hobbies that helped her self-soothe. In time, she felt more comfortable approaching her parents who have become more open and easier to talk to.

With the help of her Family Works counsellor, Casey designated her bedroom as a sanctuary and filled it with special items that reminded her of good things. One of these is a heart-shaped stone which she found at the beach. She keeps it on her dresser as a symbol for how strong and courageous she’s become. 

“I can always find a positive way through” is the motto she learned from her counsellor and one that she recites to herself over and over. 

She feels loved and listened to. Her relationship with mum and dad has improved and so has her performance in school. She no longer self-harms and is confidently building new relationships.

*Names changed and stock image used to protect identities.