At the time when Jenny (pseudonym) began home-based services with PHILLIPS Family Partners, she had already had several stays at a psychiatric hospital in Fairfax County and had missed several months of school. Jenny was 17 years old and at the start of her senior year of high school but at severe risk of not graduating with her class in June 2018 due to school attendance. Jenny was struggling with self-harm, social anxiety, depression, reactive-attachment disorder and aggressive tendencies with family members.

Jenny did not take to therapy from the start and often refused to meet with the counselor during sessions. As her Family Partners counselor consistently arrived for sessions, went slow and worked on building rapport across several months, Jenny began to come around. Throughout this process, Jenny’s parents were engaged, optimistic, and open to the therapeutic services. The counselor assisted the parents in creating an open and safe atmosphere for Jenny to participate and express herself in an appropriate manner. As Jenny saw her parents participating in services, working to better connect with her and support her, Jenny began to increase her engagement in therapy sessions.

The counselor worked intensely with Jenny to create her own individual goals and identify small steps to get there. Jenny was no longer self-harming, was utilizing skills to better manage her depression and anxiety as well as utilizing effective communication skills to interact with family members more positively. With the help of intensive home-based therapy, the support of her school and parents, Jenny attended her senior year prom and walked in the graduation ceremony as she successfully fulfilled all requirements to graduate with her class in June 2018!