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Things Get Better

This story is about a client by the name of CJ. CJ is 14 and is in the FIT program for the second time. CJ has a drug history and a history with his mother, his probation and the school of being a kid who does not take anything seriously and a trouble maker in school. When I first met with CJ he talked about some of his goals and how he wanted a father in his life. He talked about how disappointed he was with his father and how no one believes in him.

While working CJ, I discovered that he like playing Call of Duty and his brother and sister had broken it. He said that he used that game to help keep him out of trouble while at home. I mentioned to him that if he did well in the program I would look into getting him another Call of Duty game. He said ok but did not appear to be moved by my offer.   We finished discussing my expectations of him while in the FIT program. We ended the session and I encouraged client to stay out of trouble.

A few weeks later I arrived for our meeting and client was not home. His step-father stated that he had not made it home from school. I was a little early so I waited…about that time rounding the corner was CJ in a full speed walk, drenched in sweat. He said that he had to walk home from school because he missed the bus due to something with football. Client reported that he left early because he had to meet with his counselor. The walk was a little over 2 miles.

During this time CJ is still having trouble in school. In fact so much so that he has been kicked off of the football team and his mother is talking about having him placed. I reached out to his probation officer and wanted to meet with the school and his mother. Probation officer was not interested in doing anything to help CJ. She said that she has been here with him before and she was just going to submit a report to the judge.

I really worked to develop a rapport with CJ and stressed to him the importance of making some changes in his behavior at school and home. I shared with him the seriousness of his situation. I continued to encourage CJ to manage his behavior at home and school.

CJ began to work really hard and made improvements each week in his behavior at school and home. CJ went from getting suspended from school on weekly basis to not getting suspended at all. He went from smoking marijuana on weekends to getting clean UA’s. CJ stated that they had taken him to drug treatment but he did not meet criteria because he had clean UA’s. CJ mother even said that he was doing better since “he has been working with you.” Asked CJ what does has motivated him to make good choices…CJ stated “I’m trying to earn that Duty Ms.” and he said now it is easy for him to stay out of trouble. He is starting to think before he makes a decisions.

Written by Estrella Griggs