Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Send Off

I've been working with K for about a year now, providing one-on-one counseling through our teen bereavement program. Her dad was my patient for a few months before passing away in November. She and her dad were very close and she didn't always see eye to eye with her mom. She tended to bottle up her feelings. I was able to do some prebereavement with her beforehand but most of our work has occurred after. I used a few different art therapy exercises, which took the focus off of the "serious" stuff and allowed a natural rapport to develop. I have seen K through all the holidays, birthdays, and her graduation from high school. And I have seen her progress from a reserved and reticent girl struggling with depression to someone who has faced her grief head on and developed coping skills that will take her far in this life. Friday was our last visit before she heads off to college. It was bittersweet to say goodbye and I hope on some level we'll stay in touch. She has my phone number if she runs in to any trouble but I think she'll do OK. I know she's ready for this transition and I'm honored that I could see her through this time.

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