Gemma was referred to us by the head of her school year because she was struggling with anxiety, was obsessively organised, and had a huge problem around trust.

Gemma could not understand why she was this way and why she was struggling with day to day life. She only had one friend, she felt very isolated and socially awkward.  In her final year at school, her anxiety was causing her sleepless nights, and she was feeling very down about her upcoming exams and the fact she had no plan as to what to do after school.

Gemma attended weekly one-to-one sessions where we created a “Healing Timeline”. It became clear after a few sessions that there was a lot going on with her, and gradually we were able to identify where her difficulties stemmed from, and how they manifested into how she was living her life.

Gemma had suffered horrific emotional and physical abuse as a child, along with her older siblings, from men who came in and out of her mother’s life. Mum would always side with the men rather than her children. Then at age 13, Gemma developed a close friendship with an older male, aged 18.

This man had his own mental illness and leaned on Gemma for support. With her only being very young and vulnerable she had no idea how to deal with this. One day he left her a note and went and hung himself.

Interventions with Gemma have been very emotional, but the healing timeline has been a fantastic tool and used in a calming and therapeutic environment, it has helped us to go back and support Gemma’s inner child who is still very confused and hurting. With this support and understanding, Gemma has managed to slowly become more confident, she has gained real closure around incidents of her past.

We still have lots of work to do, however, and with the help of her GP we are creating a team of professionals to ensure she is receiving the best and most appropriate support for her past traumas.

Gemma completed her exams despite the pandemic and has secured a part-time place at a local college. She is looking forward to her future and has also extended her social circle, and taken a part-time job in a bakery. These are huge achievements for her, and we are immensely proud of her. We still have further work to do on her self-worth and confidence; however, she has shown incredible progress so far.

Gemma is now focused on a five-year plan we have developed with her, which includes working hard, studying and completing her higher education, and then she hopes to run her own business. She is desperate for her independence, and to be in control of her own life, and is now working constructively towards that goal.