Loading. Please wait.
Accessibility help

Elinor's story - building trust and opening up

Elinor's story - building trust and opening up

8-year-old Elinor from South Wales was identified as a child who might benefit from Place2Be counselling services. After spending time building trust with the Place2Be counsellor, Elinor opened up about how she was feeling and what to do to help in the future.

Starting counselling

Elinor* was identified by her teacher and the schools’ Family Engagement Officer, as a child who may benefit from Place2Be support. She was coping with anger, friendship issues and dislike of generally being around her classmates.

Following an assessment carried out by the Place2Be counsellor, it was identified that Elinor also had trust issues that she wanted to address.

The Place2Be counsellor also built up a relationship with Elinor’s parents, who shared some of the challenges they experienced when parenting Elinor.

Elinor was initially apprehensive about attending the Place2Be counselling sessions and refused to attend her first scheduled session.

The Place2Be counsellor reassured her that she could still come along another time but that it would be her decision. Later that morning Elinor came to the Place2Be room to say that she might attend the sessions.

The Place2Be counsellor recognised that this was part of Elinor’s trust issues. They decided it was important to create an open safe and non-judgemental space within the counselling room, that Elinor could leave when she wanted.

Building trust

After some weeks, Elinor came to the Place2Be room. She chose to stay and build a relationship with the resources in the room, and her Place2Be counsellor.

She invited her counsellor to play a game with her, demonstrating the development of trust Elinor had in the space and in the counsellor.

As weeks progressed, Elinor would come to the sessions voluntarily and demonstrated trust by exploring a wide range of resources in the room. She also began to talk more openly about the difficult feelings and emotions that were affecting her.

Together over time, they were able to identify what things may help her in the future.

How counselling helped Elinor

Elinor attended six one-to-one counselling sessions in total. Towards the end of her counselling, it was clear she enjoyed attending and she said that the sessions had been helpful.

The Place2Be counsellor felt that by using a consistent approach, being there as planned, offering weekly sessions, and ensuring the sessions were child-led, Elinor’s trust in her had grown.

Next steps

During the closing discussions, the Place2Be counsellor spoke with Elinor's parents about meeting with Place2Be’s Family Practitioner for additional support. Her parents agreed that they felt this would be beneficial and reiterated that Elinor had enjoyed coming to the sessions.

This coordinated response between the Place2Be counsellor, child, school-based staff and Place2Be’s Family Practitioner demonstrates a whole school approach to supporting Elinor.

*Names in case studies may be changed to protect the identities of families and children. Photos used are for representative purposes only.