HOPE THROUGH DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY Pat* sought help at the Center in early July due to anxiety and depression. He/she was already being treated with medications that led to a suicide attempt and a period in the psychiatric unit. Since that time, the medications have been adjusted and he/she is doing much better. In addition, during counseling, he/she has been willing and open to making changes resulting in a positive rather than a negative attitude about himself/herself and life. Being a recovering alcoholic, he/she has learned to embrace the twelve steps of the AA program. He/she has also become very involved with a recovery program at his/her church and has committed to being of service in that program. He/she has also learned and implemented coping skills that have been effective in dealing with the anxiety and the depression. He/she is a great example of focusing on gratitude and finding his/her purpose in life through service work. His/her strong sense of faith has been the consistent factor during his/her journey of change. He/she is embracing and not just enduring life. This is a beautiful example of subsidy funds being utilized to help someone to help themselves. It captures the spirit of our mission statement.
HOPE FOR THE GRIEVING CHILD Terry* is an elementary school student whose mother called the Center when he began to display signs of severe depression. These signs included loss of appetite, extreme displays of anger and acting out, and expressed specific suicidal thoughts. This was in response to mom and dad’s recent separation and dad moving out of the house. The first goal of therapy was to reduce Terry’s anxiety and eliminate his suicidal ideation. A suicide assessment was conducted in session and a safety plan was immediately put in place. He was also referred to Lincoln Prairie Behavioral Center for a psychiatric evaluation. This client was not interested in play therapy, but he responded very well to art therapy. In session, art therapy was used to identify and express feelings, to teach healthy coping skills and practice healthy communication between the client and his parents. Healthy communication and parenting skills were also reinforced with Mom, who brought Terry to therapy. Dad was resistant to Terry’s therapy at first and refused to attend sessions with him, but attempts to reach out to Dad were eventually successful. Keeping Dad in the loop was important for Terry’s progress, and eventually he gave permission to call him on a semi-regular basis to report how counseling was going. After Terry’s anxiety was significantly reduced and it was clear that he was using her safety plan and new coping skills, art therapy was used to teach him what a crisis is, what the stages of grief are and how they can feel, and time and good coping skills lead to a “new normal.” Terry embraced his new skills and knowledge, and his anxiety decreased. This was evidenced by regular sleep and eating habits, more stable emotions, and fewer behavioral outbursts. Even though Mom and Dad are now officially divorcing, Terry is still displaying stability in his mood and behavior. Terry has expressed gratitude, as has Mom, for his counseling at Living Hope. He worked so hard through such a difficult time in his young life, and his courage is inspiring.
HOPE FOR THE SUICIDAL ADOLESCENT For several months Chris* has been a client who was near suicide when they came for counseling. The teen didn’t think that they would get anything out of counseling, but because of the parent’s insistence and that of their youth minister, the teen came in for the first session. Throughout the past year, this teen has learned a great deal about how to set healthy boundaries, how to identify and express emotions and has gone from a very highly depressed state to a normal healthy range in regard to sadness/emotions. Chris is enjoying life now! After reflecting over the past year, Chris is really grateful to have come for counseling. *All names and identifying information has been changed to protect the confidentiality of our clients.