Jenny's Female Teen Case Study

Lisa was a freshman in high school. Her parents discovered that she had been self-harming, and after some research on the internet, contacted Jenny. After a brief 15 minute phone consultation, they explained that they would try to get Lisa to go to the first session but that she was very reluctant about counseling. Jenny assured them that the majority of her teen clients were not thrilled to go to that first session, but she has found that the vast majority change their minds by the end of the session.

Lisa came into session with her arms folded, but after Jenny laid down some ground confidentiality rules with her and her parents, those arms relaxed when it was individual time between her and Jenny. Throughout their next many sessions together, Lisa was able to understand and work through her distorted thoughts, and safely feel the many difficult emotions that were overwhelming her. One day, as she sat on the couch, she hugged the pillows and declared, “I just LOVE these pillows, they make me feel happy and safe.” Jenny knew what she meant. Eventually, Lisa was ready for her parents to join her sessions and Jenny helped them navigate how they could effectively respond to Lisa’s self-hatred stemmed from anxiety in a way that bolstered Lisa instead of closing up communication.


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