Overcoming Challenges as a Family
Hannah, Ethan and their mother, Charity, have learned a lot in the last few years. They learned how to heal after loss. They learned to communicate. But if you ask Charity what has made a difference for her family, she’ll tell you that it was learning to use strengths that, until recently, they didn’t even know they had.
Before the family came to The MENTOR Network for its Family Centered Treatment® model, Charity and her husband had separated. In the months that followed her parents separation, Hannah began acting out.
“She didn’t like to listen, she threw tantrums. It was a fight to get her to do homework,” Charity said. “It was a real battle.” Hannah began seeing a therapist, but the problems continued. Ethan, who by the third grade was still unable to speak, also needed support.
Charity Turned to Family Centered Treatment
Feeling overwhelmed, Charity turned to The MENTOR Network, which provides behavioral health services and one-on-one support for the whole family—right in the home. Using Family Centered Treatment® (FCT©)—an evidence-based family preservation model—Charity, Hannah and Ethan began to develop the skills to cope with the challenges they were facing as a family.
Much of the work the family did during treatment centered on learning to communicate their feelings. For Ethan, this involved exercises such as writing down his emotions so he could talk about them with Charity. The children also use “Solution Cards,” which list their strengths for handling challenging situations, such as their ability to communicate or their ability to listen.
“If they are feeling sad about their dad, they can write him a letter and tell him about their feelings right then,” Charity said. “It helps them get it off their chest in a safe way, instead of acting out.”
Creating Positive Change
Charity says that the FCT model works because it empowers people to make positive changes in their own lives. She credits her FCT team with helping her develop the confidence to support her children through treatment and through all the challenges the family has dealt with over the past few years.