Case study: Learning to Trust

Even after 25 years of working with clients I am truly amazed at how quickly they can make progress. Take “Vanessa” a 30 year old single mom. She reports being pregnant at 16 and on her own by 18 with a baby to care for. As a young adult she finds it hard to connect with people. Although she longs for a fulfilling relationship it is hard for her to trust and let people in. She tells me that years of being alone have hardened her. She’s learned that “you have to be tough to survive.”

Vanessa’s life was challenging from the very beginning. Her mom was also pregnant at 16 and cared for Vanessa until she was 3 years old. She continued to visit her mom till she was five when she was put up for adoption. Vanessa spent two years foster care before being adopted but her adoptive mom died when Vanessa was only 13 sending her back into foster care.

It’s easy to see why she feels like an “outcast” and why she talks about the need to “hold herself in a tight little ball.” Her goal in this first session was to release some old childhood beliefs: “I don’t belong anywhere. I can’t trust. I must be tough. I’ll die alone.”

In this first session we simply rescued that precious five year old. All children want one thing: to be loved and accepted just the way they are. When they receive that, their lives change dramatically.

In Vanessa’s next session she reports “feeling really good, people appear friendlier and she is able to respond more now.” She also has been focusing on the positive vs the negative in her life. We have more work to do but we have made an excellent first step.

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