Linda (42) self -referred to Safety Net (UK) following 6 sessions with First Step which she attended due to experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. During these sessions Linda had spoken about childhood sexual abuse by her step-father between the ages of 9 -12 years. Linda’s G.P had recommended she contact Safety Net (UK) when she was ready. Linda is married with two teenage children and has a supportive family network.
Linda had tried to tell her mother about the abuse at the time but was not believed. She started to run away and got in with “the wrong crowd”, shoplifting and drinking. Relations with her family subsequently deteriorated. From the ages of 12- 16 years, Linda was received into care and lived in a local authority children’s home. She was physically and sexually abused by another young person also living in the children’s home. She reported this but the case was not taken any further. She took an overdose at age 19 years.
Counselling helped Linda examine her relationship with her mother and to understand that the breakdown between them had not been her fault. During the sessions, Linda was able to discuss how she managed contact with her mother and step-father in a way that allowed her to feel safe. Linda also experienced low mood, poor self-esteem and difficulties with sleeping.
Over her sessions, Linda reported an improvement in her mood and described feeling more positive about herself. Her anxiety and panic attacks reduced and sleep quality improved. She was able to join a yoga class and to concentrate more easily, so that she could take up her love of reading once again. She described how she felt as if a weight had been lifted from her and that she was able to enjoy life with her family more fully and will be moving on into one of our emotional resilience groups.