Ben’s Story

12-year-old Ben* and his family were referred to PHILLIPS Family Partners for help in managing his high-risk behaviors in the home, including physical aggression, property destruction, hyperactivity, separation anxiety, severe sibling rivalry and poor communication. Ben’s behaviors were so severe that his parents needed to physically restrain him to keep him and others safe during outbursts; in fact, the family was unsure whether they would be able to keep their son in their home with them at all.

Family Partners staff met with the family and provided initial consultation. We agreed to commit to two home-based meetings a week, as well as family counseling and parent guidance. The family also set goals to establish a home behavioral program, a system for sharing household and individual responsibilities, anger management and social skills training.

We worked with Ben’s parents to help him learn a variety of alternate behaviors — such as how to calm himself down, using his own resources, when upset. Over the course of three months, Ben’s difficult behaviors decreased dramatically, and he began to experience success in many areas.

The family, too, responded well to the services. As our work was nearing an end, we were pleased to hear one of his parents say confidently, “We are ready to continue on our own.”

*not his real name