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Sally & Mom

Sally and her mother's relationship was difficult, to say the least. Arguments between the two seemed constant and their ability to get along seemed impossible. Adding to the challenges, Sally has a physical disability which limits the types of activities she can participate in with her friends. This can lead to frustration with herself and often boils over to her mom. To begin work on these issues, Sally started counseling about six months ago. She has been coming every other week and will soon be graduating to sessions once a month.

Sally and her mother have expressed improvement in their relationship. They work hard at spending quality time together doing arts, crafts and homework together. When frustration sets in, they both work at taking deep breaths and calming themselves. Mom has worked hard at controlling her yelling and Sally is doing her best to listen attentively.

Sally also employees techniques such as breathing, listening to music, calming herself in her room, or pausing when she gets frustrated. These techniques seem to work best when she is unable to do something with her friends. When their progress is coupled, there is no doubt their relationship is on the right track.

Finding Peace

Andrew came to Kent Youth and Family Services in the midst of a panic attack. Providing swift crisis intervention, two KYFS counselors attended to Andrew's needs over the next few hours.

Andrew disclosed that the attack happened while using drugs. Unresolved grief due to significant losses in childhood, failing grades at school, distant relationships with family members, and addiction to pot, were some of the struggles Andrew talked about with his therapists. A few days later, counselors guided Andrew through the intake/assessment process where it was determined that he would benefit from both chemical dependency and mental health counseling services at KYFS.

After 10 months at KYFS, Andrew reports that he feels "more peaceful" and "much happier." He has found a job, is beginning to reconnect with supportive family members, and continues to "stay clean." Andrew also shared, "As a guy, I never thought I would say this, but it really helps to talk to someone. It has made a big difference in my life."

With continued support of his counselors, Andrew plans on returning to school to earn his G.E.D., with the hope of attending college after that. Andrew left us with this final thought, "I have changed a lot, and I couldn't have done it alone."

Leading By Example

As Lighthouse nears its 20th year of existence, a common theme and cycle becomes more evident. On a yearly basis, kids age in and out of our teen program. It's fascinating to see younger kids come to Lighthouse for the first time. It is often interesting to watch them interact with the older kids and do their very best to act accordingly.

We find our greatest success in the example the older kids set for the newer ones. They pass on the rules and help them understand how the program works. They also pass on skills vital to the recreational activities that take place on a daily basis.

A great example of this transfer of knowledge is a basketball game involving some of the younger attendees and some of our more established members. We wanted the new kids to get a feel of what a competitive game felt like when playing with more skilled players.

We set up a scoreboard, chose teams and determined a substitution system. The game was set to finish when the first team reached a 100 points. 50 points would serve as halftime. During halftime, each captain was responsible for setting plays to run during the game.

It was a joy to watch the younger kids participate in something larger than they were accustomed. I was filled with pride as I watched the older kids lead by example.