Rapport Youth and Family Services aims to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of youth and families through counselling and related support services. Rapport is staffed by professionally trained social workers, counsellors, and youth workers who provide a range of confidential services. We provide services for young people between the ages of 12 and 20 who are experiencing personal, social or family problems. For more information call 905-455-4100 or visit www.rapportyouth.com.
Diane, age 17 years old, was referred by her school as she had few friends, low self-esteem, and was skipping classes. Her "bad temper" contributed to other students alienating her, leaving her feeling alone and isolated. Diane's parents separated at an early age due to her father's drinking issues. She recalled many childhood incidents of emotional abuse and physical neglect. Diane tended to find herself in relationships with abusive or controlling boyfriends.
In counselling sessions, Diane's strengths were uncovered, such as, the times in her life when she had been courageous, resilient and strong. These included specific times when she had acted to protect other children from abuse or neglect, and arranging a co-op placement through her high school. At her co-op placement she was recognized for her special way of relating to others and getting them to cooperate with routines. She was gradually given more responsibility in her placement and then offered a summer job.
Diane has had to learn a lot about taking good care of herself, as this was an area which had not been addressed before in her life. She chooses her friends more carefully now and understands more about healthy/unhealthy relationships. Presently she is back in school earning her last few grade 12 credits and plans to attend college related to early childhood education. Family circumstances have not changed but she is enjoying positive relationships in her life and has plans for a career in which her abilities are recognized and where she will make a positive contribution.
By Susanna Kennedy, M.S.W., Youth and Family Counsellor