Legacy | A Publication of Lena Pope Legacy Spring 2015 - Page 4

Regaining Control And Reaching Out to Say Thank You in Return S he was angry. She was sad. Cutting herself to visit her aunt in Boston. Though Jenny and her repeatedly, she was crying for help. Then aunt were not very close, Julia believed that in this one day she lost control completely and case, simply escaping a challenging environment acted out physically on a family member, is sometimes the smartest move. When Jenny which brought her to the attention of returned, she acknowledged that the trip was nice, Tarrant County Juvenile Services (TCJS). Through but coming back to the same situation was weighing Lena Pope’s partnership with TCJS, Lena Pope on her. Functional Family Therapist Julia took on the case. “She was resistant to counseling but knew it was Jenny, only 14 years old, had been in and out of mandatory as requirement of her probation,” Julia residential treatment facilities before arriving at said. “Jenny never really opened up, and I did not feel Lena Pope. “Jenny was diagnosed bipolar before she like I was helping her.” started counseling at Lena Pope and had been on medication for years,” Julia said. “She was sad and As the months went on, Julia was getting more angry.” concerned for Jenny and the direction of the counseling. Jenny was still verbalizing intentions to Jenny lived with her mother, who was battling chronic hurt herself, and her self-esteem had not improved. physical illnesses, as well as her younger sister and grandparents. Her grandmother was the only one she “Her mother’s health was declining, and that was a was close to and trusted. Jenny often reflected on big stressor for Jenny,” Julia said. her grandmother’s love during counseling sessions, and it was the only time Julia saw signs of security. Julia knew she was doing everything she could, but Jenny actually seemed to be getting worse. Then the Through in-home sessions, Julia was able to assess unthinkable happened: Jenny’s grandmother died the family strengths and risk factors and put together suddenly, sending Jenny into a downward spiral. At a six-month plan to positively impact the troubled this point, residential treatment seemed to be the teen and her family. Functional Family Therapy is only answer. a short-term, research-tested counseling program offered to at-risk youth and their families. Jenny was checked in to a 30-day facility, where she received intense daily therapy. Upon her release, she Most of the weekly meetings took place at the met with Julia a few more times. “She seemed to be grandparents’ home with the family in attendance, finally dealing with the death of her grandmother,” but Julia often met with Jenny independently as Julia recalled. “Her concern was that if she continued well. Julia knew how difficult Jenny’s home life was to live at home that she would never be happy or and fully supported an upcoming spring break trip feel safe.” 4 LEGACY 17235_SPRING_2015_LEGACY.indd 4 4/6/15