Case Study L

L. was 16 when referred by her mother. She describes herself as having been “Often sad and unhappy, I didn’t enjoy things. I was stressed about school”. Her mother supplemented this description with “Not eating. Anxious a lot, not sleeping”.

L’s scores on the RCADS at the start were into the “clinical” range on both social phobia and depression, and her mother scored her well into this range on most of the sub-scales. Similarly, emotional stress scored high for both of them in the SDQ. Her counsellor picked up a range of difficulties, mainly at the “mild” level.
By the end of the eight counselling sessions, L. herself and her counsellor identified considerable improvement, although her mother still gave high RCADS scores. She describes herself now in the following way: I spend time with my family and friends. I’m a bit stressed about University, but I have learnt how to cope with this.
Her mother agrees, saying counselling made her “a lot better”: She is happier, less stressed, appears to cope with school pressure better.