A New Start for Jon

Counseling Services of Catholic Charities North Dakota sees clients of all ages.  This story below by Mary Jo Andersen is just one of the many success stories from one of our clients who along with this family saw positive results from the caring, understanding and knowledgeable counselors at our agency.   They accept insurance and EAP contracts and offer a sliding fee scale to provide service to those who can’t afford to pay.

When Jon* bit a classmate and shoved and kicked his teacher when she tried to intervene, it was the final straw.  His aggression in the classroom had been gradually building, from ripping one child’s artwork, taunting another child, to being reported for fighting on the playground several times.  His classmates avoided him.  Notes had been sent home yet his disruptive behavior continued.  On this day, his mother was called to the school and told that Jon was being suspended.

As she talked with the principal and the teacher, she broke down and disclosed that she had similar challenges with him at home.  She constantly monitored his aggression towards his younger brother to avoid someone being hurt, and he was disobedient and disrespectful with her.

She confided that Jon’s young life had included physical abuse by his father and sexual abuse by his grandfather.  As a result, he and his younger brother were removed from their father’s home and placed in multiple foster homes.  They suffered instability and chaos in their lives before moving to North Dakota and being reunited with her after she had successfully completed treatment at an addictions center. 

The principal referred her to the Counseling Services of Catholic Charities North Dakota.  Jon began weekly individual therapy and started Parent-Child Interactive Therapy with his mother.  Later, his younger brother, mother, and he attended family counseling.  After several months of play therapy, Jon learned how to express his feelings verbally.

With the help of his mom and the therapist, he applied his new skills in the classroom.  He was able to decrease his outbursts in class and learned to express his feelings through play instead of yelling and threatening others.  He even was more focused with the schoolwork and successfully completed the school year.  In addition he had become friends with several of his classmates.

The services provided by Catholic Charities Counseling Services have a life altering impact on our clients.  Our comprehensive approach to mental health care is designed to not only treat the individual but to address the family as well. 

* Names  and some details have been changed to protect the identity of our clients.

Counseling Services just one of the services provided at Catholic Chariites North Dakota. Our other programs include Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Services, Guardianship Services and Adults Adopting Special Kids.  Since 1923 we have served Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  For more information or to donate please go to www.catholiccharitiesnd.org