Recently one of the clients with whom I work was able to see his sibling for the first time in a year. Their meeting over Skype was possible due to this student’s progress in the program. That progress consisted of working through two clinical phases, gaining insight into his behavioral patterns and making changes to these patterns in order to provide more safety in his relationships. He also gained empathy for others, worked weekly with his parents, completed the Clarification process with four other people and has maintained a good standing in the program. He has spent countless hours in preparation for this moment.
Prior to the meeting. this student expressed nervousness and excitement. He was ready for this day. He had with him his letter of accountability that he had worked on for weeks, fine tuning it to personal perfection. In his letter, he took into consideration terminology that his sibling many not recognize. He provided breaks to clarify his intentions and showed critical attention his sibling’s needs. Even with all of this preparation, my client did not know what to anticipate. The anticipation built up over the months of preparation that has led up to this day has been a growing experience for him.
My student greeted his sibling and asked if he was ready to hear what he prepared to share. After a confirmation, my client proceeded to explain what he had done and why. He showed empathy by expressing recognition of what he put his sibling through and explained ways that he is planning to provide safety in their relationship from here on out. The sincerity that my client showed was true and it was miraculous.
It is powerful to see the changes that these boys are willing to make in order to heal and to be healed. One of the most profound aspects of this process is the student’s realization that although life will never be the same as it was before the abuse, there is a recognition and desire to commit to make things better from here on out. There is a new determination. There is commitment and a heightened awareness of the necessity of change in order to create a healthy life for themselves and others.
The behaviors that this client showed last week instill a new hope in a family that once had very little hope to hold onto. Change is possible, and it is made possible through the sincere honesty and care demonstrated by a teenaged boy overcoming sexual behavioral problems. Rachelle Gallup, Therapist