Kyle* experienced extensive, significant childhood trauma while growing up with his biological mother and father and was eventually removed from their home to be placed with his aunt, who adopted him.

Although he was given a safe and stable household with a loving relative, Kyle still struggled from the impacts of his earlier trauma. He could become physically aggressive and exhibit unsafe behaviors. It was causing problems in the home.

Kyle tried other programs, but came to ECH so he and his aunt could benefit from regular family therapy appointments and community visits. They were able to communicate about his past traumas, including the loss of his parents, and learned about how his experiences impacted his relationships in the present. They consistently worked through difficult behavioral situations that occurred in the first few months of his placement, allowing him to receive constructive feedback on his behaviors in a safe, structured setting while also getting the validation, support, and love he needed to deal with his difficult emotions.

Throughout his course of treatment at ECH, Kyle also received extensive trauma therapy and grief & loss therapy from his individual therapy team. He learned to integrate new coping mechanisms into his family therapy sessions, which demonstrated his ability and desire to improve that relationship.

The treatment plans helped Kyle to significantly decrease his behavioral challenges. His treatment team, his aunt, and Kyle agreed he was safe to begin visiting at home, practicing and preparing for his return. In the final few months of his treatment, Kyle and his aunt utilized their family therapy sessions to plan for his future by addressing any concerns that came up during visits and communicate openly about expectations and plans for his life beyond ECH.

The story of this client’s journey truly highlights the important impact that family therapy and stable, consistent family connections can have on a child’s life, despite the adversity they may have experienced in their past.

*Name has been changed