Liam* was 16 years old when he made a call to the police that had his father arrested and ultimately saved his mother’s life. The impact of witnessing severe domestic violence not only affected Liam’s home life but it also began to negatively influence his school life, too.
Liam always seemed cheerful on the outside, but the painful memories he held about how his parents' relationship ended lingered underneath. Liam was struggling to submit his homework, appeared distracted during class and did the bare minimum to pass his subjects.
It was clear that Liam needed support.
Liam was referred to a CatholicCare counsellor, but his father was reluctant to provide consent. The counsellor talked to Liam's father, explaining that it would be of great benefit to Liam and that the purpose of counselling was to strengthen families, rather than divide them.
One year later, with the ongoing support of his counsellor, Liam was making significant progress with his studies. He decided to apply for part time work as he wanted to take more responsibility in his life, and he even decided to study psychology as an elective at school.
When his counsellor asked him why he chose this elective, he responded jokingly: "Because you can help me with my homework!"
In a later session, his counsellor asked him again. And his response was this:
“I want to know why people act the way they do. I’d be good at helping others because I can put myself in their shoes.”
"I hope to continue working with Liam,' says his counsellor, "helping him to make sense of his past and guide him through the decisions he makes for his own life".
The impact of counselling for Liam will be felt for many years to come, and will help him on a path to a brighter future.
“I’d be good at helping others because I can put myself in their shoes.”
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*At CatholicCare, we respect everyone who comes to us for help and many are working towards a fresh start in life. While the stories and quotes are true, client names and images have been changed to protect their privacy.