The client on our initial meeting appeared overwhelmed and was highly emotional. She expressed that she had a great need to talk to someone. Approaching 60 years of age, in a
42 year marriage, she was deciding to leave. She had extremely low self-esteem and no self worth; she disclosed that she had been trying to find the ‘courage’ to leave for over fifteen years.
The client is highly educated and had been to university, she has a degree. However, she has not worked for the past 18 years. She expressed self doubt on being able to sustain a job due to total lack of confidence. She disclosed that her husband constantly questioned everything and she struggles to do things. She ceased socialising with friends because her husband would ‘put her down’ in the presence of her friends, making comments such as ‘why did you say that you’re stupid’ this occurred on a daily basis.
Over the years the client has received helped from the NHS, she has been diagnosed with depression. She did at one point have counselling through the NHS which allocated her
12 sessions, she was also hospitalised on three occasions. She constantly questioned her capability of coping and concluded that she must be useless.
During our period of counselling together over several sessions the client had left the martial home and rented her own flat. This period of transition was a very difficult time; however she found an inner strength and remained resilient in facing the challenges of being on her own. She expressed fears and doubts as she had in previous sessions although it seemed her self doubt about coping has somewhat diminished.
In subsequent sessions the client explored her past, she questioned why she let her husband control her and why she did not leave sooner, however she has recently taken a part time job and she expresses she finds her newfound freedom hopeful.
The client is articulate, intellectual and has now started to socialise once more. She will be a valuable asset to the community. She fully engages in the counselling process as she strongly wishes to move forward with her life.
Our initial meeting at Catford Library laid foundations for a good working alliance as the client expressed ‘you were there when I needed help – I did not have to wait.’
(Clients’ details have been changed to ensure anonymity and confidentiality)