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Poppy's story - separated from her parents

Poppy's story - separated from her parents

Five-year-old Poppy was struggling to cope with living away from her parents. Her counselling sessions helped her to understand her emotions and learn boundaries with friends.

When Poppy was five, her parents split up and she went to live with her uncle because her mum was struggling to cope.

Poppy wasn’t sleeping well and was often sluggish and tired in class. She also became very attached to others and would react in angry outbursts when she felt excluded.

Poppy was nervous at first when she went to counselling, and she spoke very quickly. But she soon trusted the relationship she had with her counsellor and she could say things that were on her mind.

She loved playing in the room and was particularly interested in the baby dolls. Poppy quickly became a kind of mum for the baby dolls - she looked after them and struggled to say goodbye to them at the end of sessions. She would cry, refuse to leave the room and demand the babies come with her.

After time, Poppy settled into a routine at home and school. She was calmer and began to respect her friends’ boundaries more. She showed her counsellor that the babies were becoming happier and explained how sad they were to be ending counselling for the year.

Poppy read the babies a bedtime story in the last session. In this story, Poppy and her counsellor spoke about how the babies had developed and explored how Poppy felt about the counselling. Before saying goodnight, Poppy named the babies for the first time and gave them a kiss on the cheek. Like the babies, she was now comfortable enough at home to sleep in her own bed at night.

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