Case study: Bereavement

Dave’s mum died in a car accident when he was 16 years old.  This was a sudden shock for Dave and he felt totally over whelmed and lost without her.  For two years Dave had gone totally off the rails, and had been drinking excessively, doing drugs and getting into fights. He had broken up with his girlfriend and his dad had threatened many times to kick him out of the house.  Eventually Dave’s dad persuaded him to start counselling. At the age of 18, Dave did not see the point in this and didn’t want to come at all.

Part of the work as a therapist, is building the relationship with a client.  Initially I had to work very hard to ensure that Dave could trust and open up to me. This doesn’t happen from the outset and clients need to be able to feel that they can relate to you.  Dave started to relax as his sessions went on and we started to build a relationship where he could begin to open up.

Dave was able to talk about the loss of his mum and how this had impacted on him. He shared how painful it was and how much he missed her.  He was able to get in touch with the shock and how it had affected him.  He broke down and cried in a lot of the sessions and at other times he got very angry.  Dave was able to let go of a lot of bottled up emotions and to then share how he felt about the last two years of his life. He regretted things like losing his licence, failing his A Levels etc.

Gradually during the counselling Dave went onto an apprenticeship scheme and re took his driving test.  He got his licence back and calmed his drinking / behaviour down. In the end he wanted to get back together with his girlfriend and they also started meeting up and eventually talked about doing this.  Dave was able to re build his life through the support of counselling, while also dealing with his own pain around the death of his mum.

Please note that all name’s on this website have been changed to protect confidentiality.