Mrs W’s daughter suffered high anxiety and was refusing school when she was referred for Family Face Time via the Children and Young People’s Service for mental health. Whilst the daughter had high expectations of both herself and her academic studies, Mum’s mental health was poor and she suffered from depression. Consequently their home life was chaotic as mum’s priorities were different from daughter’s and there were continual arguments around keeping the house clean and tidy – unusually this was the daughter’s concern and mum struggled to see how this was important!
Family Face Time (FFT) is The Door’s innovative ‘Facilitated Conversation’ programme – family members are invited to meet with our facilitator each week to discuss those issues which are causing difficulties in their relationship. All family members are empowered to share feelings and observations, and encouraged to work together to empathise with each other and find common solutions. Families tell us that we “go where other services fear to tread” – dealing with complex and difficult issues first and foremost to help families to the root of their situation. FFT sessions can become quite animated and heated, with the facilitator there to ensure all parties adhere to previously agreed ground rules, and to steer conversations to amicable conclusions.
Particular issues addressed with Mrs W and her daughter were:
- Discussing points of conflict – with some education around difference in people, helping them understand that they had different priorities and helping them to reach compromise in areas where there would usually be conflict
- Resolving social challenges – daughter was particularly anxious in social settings and school as a trigger for her anxiety. Through discussing issues openly with mum she was able to put in place strategies for dealing with anxiety and mum was able to support her to be in a good place mentally when faced with such issues.
- Agreeing boundaries and family rules – it became clear through the discussions that daughter worked best when given a structure and boundaries. As a result the family agreed a set of rules for both to follow and we reviewed these regularly to refine and agree consequences for non compliance.
Key outcomes – Daughter’s attendance increased from 72% to 100% over a period of 6 months – mum and daughter’s relationship changed dramatically to enable them both resolve issues without the use of the FFT facilitator