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Lifting Elijah’s depression through trauma-focused therapy.
*Photos reflect the spirit of CFA and are not of any individuals associated with these stories
Fifteen year old Elijah had emigrated from Nigeria with his family as a small child. Brought by his mother to the Child & Family Agency Child Guidance Clinic for therapy, he had feelings of sadness, thoughts of harming himself, and a lack of interest in things he’d previously enjoyed. Therapy was new to Elijah, and he was guarded as he began treatment.
His therapist asked Elijah to draw pictures as he talked, because drawing seemed to help him relax. Elijah explained that he was “wearing a mask” to isolate and protect himself from others. After a few months, Elijah began to mention severe trauma he’d experienced as a young child, which he was remembering in pieces. Slowly he began sketching fuller pictures of this troubled past.
Though trying to get better, Elijah didn’t want to put away that mask, his shield from the world. Through trauma-focused therapy, he began filling in difficult memories. He took comfort in the knowledge that, if necessary, he could put on that protective “mask”. As he explored this territory with the therapist, Elijah eventually came to see that during the times when he opened himself to people close to him, like his mother, his depression lifted. He began to feel more alive. Over the last 3 months of therapy, Elijah worked to remain unguarded until finally he realized he was ready to stop and return to enjoyment of life.
Child & Family Agency has Child Guidance Clinics in Essex, Groton and New London and are licensed by the State of CT Department of Child and Families. Child Guidance Clinics provide diagnostic and counseling services to children, ages 3 to 18, who are experiencing emotional and/or behavioral difficulties. To learn more click here
*At Child and Family Agency we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names, identifying details, and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.