In April Focus Foundation approved a grant of £5000 for Brighton Therapy Centre to be used to fund people who qualified, for low-cost mental health support. The case study below highlights how a relatively small grant can have huge impact on life and wellbeing: -
Case Study – Sam:
Sam came to Brighton Therapy Centre for an assessment, she brought with her a discharge letter from a local Hospital that summarized her trauma and her experience of therapy; she could not bear to tell her story again, so she simply handed over the letter that described her experience of childhood sexual abuse.
Sam was in treatment for three months in one of the inpatient wards at a local Hospital in Brighton. Sam was discharged without housing, which meant that she had to live on the street for some time. Sam had learned that therapy could be a positive experience, and, since being discharged, she had been trying without success to start therapy again.
We were able to offer Sam funded therapy with an experienced humanistic psychotherapist. During her first session with her therapist, Sam was quietly tearful, expressing gratitude for being able to work with a female therapist who understood what it felt like to be different. She had worked with a male therapist, and while she found the experience helpful, she said several times that she had wanted to work with a woman throughout the next stage of her journey. Together, Sam and her therapist explored Sam’s turbulent inner world, which was disguised by her usually calm affect and gentle manner. Powerful emotions like shame and anger appeared to wrestle with profound sadness and despair. Occasionally, Sam would laugh in session, and when the contours of her face relaxed, Sam’s therapist told Sam that she observed a sense of peace. Sam expressed pleasure at the thought. Within eight weeks of regular meetings, Sam reported that these moments of calm were lasting longer and felt less fleeting.
Sam never described her memories of the male babysitter who abused her in any detail, but her therapist noticed that whenever Sam referred to her childhood, her breathing became more shallow and she would stare at a cushion on the sofa. Sam’s therapist invited Sam to focus on her breathing and to count her breaths and to feel her feet on the floor. After several minutes, Sam calmed enough to explain that the signs her therapist had observed were the prelude to a panic attack.
Sam’s therapist was able to provide Sam with a safe and containing environment in which Sam could get in touch with all of her emotions. Sam continues to see her therapist at Brighton Therapy Centre and to talk about what quiet hopefulness feels and means for her.
Kerry Evans from Brighton Therapy Centre had the following comments, “We are extremely grateful to the Focus Foundation and so are the vulnerable individuals we are able to support with their funding. For people in our community who are living with serious mental health problems and on very low incomes, this funding is a lifeline, giving them access to specialist therapies that can make a meaningful and lasting difference to their lives.”