Growing up is no easy feat. Between school, family, friends, hobbies, and complicated emotions, every kid has a different story. It is our job as adults to help our kids find their path and feel supported through that process.
[Pseudonyms are used to protect confidentiality.]
CYS Clinical Case Manager, Karen Martinez, worked closely with CYS client, Kareem, over the course of several months. During these months, Karen connected with Kareem to learn about his past, and together, look towards his future. Karen and Kareem were able to identify solutions to help propel Kareem towards a path he felt excited and proud of.
Kareem was referred to CYS after an argument between his mother, himself, and his brother. Up until his referral, Kareem had a tenuous relationship with his mother and siblings—Kareem's mother and father separated when Kareem was a young boy, which, understandably, was very hard for him. Without someone to talk to about his feelings, his sadness about their separation turned into resentment, and ultimately tension within the family.
When Kareem was referred to CYS, he was already enrolled in therapy; however, after working with Karen, Kareem was able to express his frustrations with his current therapy. He explained that he was not connecting with his therapist because the sessions were inconsistent, infrequent, and done over the phone. Kareem also shared that his therapist was not focusing on his mental health or on methods to connect, which he made clear were both important to him.
After talking through all of this, Karen and Kareem’s mom were able to set him up with a therapist that fulfilled his expectations*. After meeting with his new therapist, Kareem’s behavior and family dynamic showed great progress. Kareem let Karen know that he can connect on a deeper level and he is able to work towards his future goals with his new therapist. Kareem’s mom shared that she enjoys seeing him participate in individual therapy and has noticed an improvement in his behavior and outlook on life. She likes that his therapist is consistent, and that she finds ways for them to bond as a family by suggesting activities. The family has made a commitment to spend one day of the weekend together doing activities they all enjoy such as having a movie night, dining out, or going for a walk.
In addition to the improved communication with Kareem’s family, he and Karen have also explored a barbering program where he will be considered for classes starting this Spring. In the meantime, he has been set up with a part time job at his local barbershop where he will gain experience cutting hair. Karen, as well as his mom, are proud of Kareem, and excited to see where his future takes him.
No matter your age, therapy is an individualized process and everyone requires a different approach. At the same time, we often feel restricted to the first therapist we’re assigned to. There is no shame in “shopping around” to find someone that is right fit for you in order to really make progress.
At CYS, we don’t have a set contract with one mental health provider or restrict ourselves to only working in-house. Our team has free range to help our families connect with whatever service or provider will best meet their needs in their area. This flexibility and range is key to our high success rate.