Experiencing suicidal thoughts, Tanya asked her mother if she could see a counselor for help. Tanya’s mother was hesitant to seek counseling for her daughter. She thought what happened in their home should stay in their home and was concerned about the cost. Tanya’s mother eventually agreed and reluctantly scheduled an appointment with Lena Pope.
Lena Pope therapist, Andrea, began working with Tanya in the fall of her senior year. Tanya was experiencing symptoms of depression that had deepened by a breakup with her longtime boyfriend. As with all Lena Pope counseling clients, Andrea had screened Tanya for Adverse Childhood Experiences. The teen presented with five ACEs, signaling substantial past trauma.
With Andrea’s guidance, Tanya began to process her lifelong traumas, including an unhealthy relationship with her mother. The teen’s mom struggled with substance use and had spent time incarcerated during Tanya’s childhood. Her mother had also maintained a series of problematic relationships with partners and struggled with her own significant traumas. Andrea encouraged Tanya’s mom to also seek counseling. She agreed and began her own healing journey while Tanya worked on hers.
Talking through the emotions related to Tanya’s breakup, the teen discovered that her complicated feelings toward her boyfriend were directly related to lacking a relationship with her absent father. Utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Andrea helped Tanya recognize her negative thought patterns and change them. Together, they identified Tanya’s strengths, talked about her self-worth, and worked on setting healthy boundaries in all of her relationships. The connection between Andrea and Tanya was deepened by their shared lived experience as women of color. The teen made significant progress in coping with her depression.
Then Tanya experienced a major setback in her progress with the outbreak of COVID-19 and school closures. She was disappointed at missing out on the huge milestones of her senior year, began to lose motivation, and her depression symptoms began again. Fortunately, Tanya was able to continue her counseling sessions with Andrea virtually. Andrea reminded Tanya of her strengths and goals during these online sessions and encouraged her to push toward achieving them.
Because of your support, Tanya was able to continue to receive the emotional health care she needed, even during school and community closures. Tanya is the first in her family to graduate high school. She will be attending her dream college in the fall and will be able to continue tele-therapy services with Andrea. Her future is bright because of you.