KRISTIN’S CASE STUDY
Kristin’s mom first contacted SOAR when Kristin was 12 years old. Her mom told us that she was having difficulty making friends. Kristin was being bullied at school and was also showing signs of self-harm.
We began with an initial assessment. In our assessment, Kristin told us that she wanted to have close friends, however she didn’t get along with anybody at her school. She told us that she was “more interested in reading and science than boy bands.”
Because so many of Kristin’s needs were related to friendships and social skills, we quickly determined that it would be vital to work collaboratively with the school to develop a plan for her. So we contacted her teacher and the principal to help develop a plan for her at school.
At home, we assigned a well-matched therapist who started by getting to know her. Once they had formed a relationship, our therapist started working on social skill development.
We started by giving Kristin a series of intensive lessons on social skills and navigating social relationships. We taught her how to begin talking to new people, adapt to the ebbs and flows of conversations, make the listener feel heard, identify when a conversation was over, and how to exit conversations fluidly.
She learned that friendships are founded on common interests and how to find groups of people who share common interests with her. In that beginning phase, we learned that Kristin likes RPGs (role playing games), so we got her involved in local teen groups that play RPGs. Our therapists accompanied Kristin at these group meetings.
Furthermore, we worked closely with her school to address bullying. Kristin was able to form two close relationships over the course of our time with her. She now regularly hangs out with these two individuals and plays RPGs.
By the end of her treatment, Kristin reported not having thoughts of self-harm any more because she had formed close friends and she felt understood by her parents.