Many children find it difficult to adjust when leaving primary school, but for Michael the task was even more difficult. Low self-esteem compounded other emotional issues and he started to fall behind in his work. But where others might have fallen through the cracks, Place2Be provided Michael with the support he needed to get back on the path to success.
In Year 7, Michael struggled making the transition from primary to secondary school. He was often tearful and would run out of class banging his head on walls calling himself “rubbish” and “useless”. He talked about killing and harming himself and wanted to “be dead”. He was unable to concentrate in class and had low scores in Maths and English. His parents and teachers were really worried about him.
Michael was referred to Place2Be and began one-to-one counselling for a year. His counsellor helped him to manage his anxiety and distress, develop his emotional resilience and manage his frustration. Michael’s parents and teachers were kept informed of the progress being made, but what he said in his counselling was confidential.
Trusting his counsellor, Michael felt safe to explore his fears, anxieties and frustrations at home and school. He often shared fears that he would not talk about at home, as he was eager not to disappoint his parents. His counsellor accepted him no matter what mood he was in. Gradually, as Michael’s confidence grew, he managed his fears and learned how to “keep calm and carry on”. He said that at Place2Be he could “be himself”.
Over time Michael stopped harming himself. His teachers found him easier to manage, he engaged with his work, and his results for Maths and English significantly improved. He also felt able to make friends for the first time, further boosting his confidence and school engagement. Michael’s counselling has now ended and he is thriving.