Soon after I started working at CFGC, I began seeing a 14-year-old boy named John. He was highly depressed and lacked motivation in many areas of life, including at school and during extracurricular and social activities. John’s father had left, which left John to battle with the difficulty of growing up without a male role model. In addition, students at school consistently bullied him, and he reported feeling different from his peers. During therapy, John talked about feeling overwhelmed by life. He felt lost and lonely without the guidance and support he expected a father would offer. John feared he would never learn how to be a man, husband, or father. John’s mother sought treatment at CFGC when it became clear to her that John’s troubles had only increased as he entered adolescence.
Unfortunately, the issues John faced – being raised by a single parent, lacking a father figure, and being bullied to the point of being afraid to attend school – are all too common. Helping John to process his feelings of loss and to increase his self-confidence, however, have had a profoundly positive impact on his life. During the course of John’s one-year treatment at the Center, he increased his self-esteem and self-confidence, improved his relationship with his mother, and experienced a significant elevation in mood and motivation. As John’s self-esteem and pride increased, he presented himself with greater confidence in a variety of settings, including school, and the bullying decreased significantly.
Prior to ending treatment with John, I enlisted the assistance of our case management team and connected him to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. John met his Big Brother prior to completing treatment and began to develop a bond with a positive male role model. John’s transformation during his treatment at CFGC truly inspired me. He developed a hopefulness and confidence to face the world and the challenges it presents.