Educational Challenges Turned to a Brighter Road Ahead

Silvia is a client in the Step Care Program who began mental health services with her mental health clinician (MHC) Miriam Guijarro in May of 2023. Silvia is an 11-year-old girl, who lives with her parents and sibling. Silvia’s family originated from Jalisco, Mexico, and through their Catholic religion, they rely on their faith to lead their lives. Silvia was referred to El Centro de Amistad by her school after they noticed she had lost interest in school and was unable to concentrate while in classes. Silvia presented with symptoms of irritability, sadness, low motivation, feeling of hopelessness, and inability to relate to others. She had a difficult time relating to new people; therefore, she struggled to build rapport with her therapist.

At the beginning of therapy, Silvia was challenged to become engaged in sessions due to expressing that she felt miserable and confused. She often stated that at the beginning of therapy, she did not have a reason to wake up, she felt angry and wanted to begin giving up. Silvia’s therapist took a gentle approach to therapy and allowed the client to become engaged at her own pace. The therapist conducted individual, family, and collateral sessions to support the client. The therapist introduced the family to positive coping skills, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to implement positive thoughts and expression of emotions and assisted the client in visualizing her strengths.

Shortly after, Silvia began to open up, share her story, and expressed to her therapist that she felt validated and had seen a change in her life. Silvia’s therapist and mother both reported that Silvia is now in a better place than when she began therapy. Silvia herself has also mentioned that she is now happy and able to feel proud and is now able to do things that she used to enjoy. She loves to bake, skate, read, and draw. Moreover, Silvia verbalized a desire to play sports and has been connected with case management services in order to support her wish. She shared with MHC that she is grateful for all the support she has been given during her time in therapy.

In addition, Silvia reported that she is now taking her medication, respecting adults at home, has improved her self-esteem, and is grateful for life. Silvia stated she is now able to use her coping skills, communicate her needs, and ask for help when in distress. Furthermore, she has begun to do well with online learning and will be starting school once again. Although she is scared, she knows she can do it and is looking forward to the challenge!