Breaking Barriers case study: Jeremy
Breaking Barriers intervened with Jeremy* when he was 10 years old, following his father being sent to prison.
Jeremy had witnessed domestic violence in the home and became anxious and angry both at home and school, worrying particularly about what would happen when his dad was released from prison. He was offered one-to-one sessions with a senior practitioner where he set the following goals:
- “I don’t want to be angry”
- “I want to know what to do if I want to cry”
- “I want to find out what will happen when my dad comes out of prison”
At first, Jeremy was reluctant to speak about his dad’s imprisonment, saying things were “fine”. He resisted all direct approaches to talk about his emotions.
Slowly, Jeremy opened up and was able to express his fear about his dad coming home in case the domestic violence started again, because he felt he couldn’t protect his mum. Understanding his father’s prison sentence and how he felt about it was an important part of Jeremy’s progress and he became increasingly more open about his fears and anxieties.
Jeremy received support over four months, helping him with the transition of his dad being in prison, being released and living in a hostel. At the end of this time, the senior practitioner then arranged for Jeremy to be assigned a mentor at school, to continue to provide support in the long term.
Jeremy said he felt he had achieved his goals and both home and school reported that he had become less aggressive. Most importantly, he has people to talk to if he feels sad or angry, including his dad.
*not his real name