Our Impact on Youth

A Teenager Uses His Strengths to Overcome Personal Difficulties

Tuan, age 16, came to Rapport after his mother called with concerns about Tuan smoking weed, his school attendance jeopardizing his academic year, and giving access to the house to people he didn't know well when neither Tuan nor his mother were there. Money and alcohol were missing from the home. There was a serious question of whether Tuan could continue to stay with his mother if this level of difficult behaviour continued.

Two main themes emerged from Tuan's counselling sessions. One was that he felt an extreme desire to be liked by others, even people whom he barely knew. This was causing him to have poor judgment regarding what he was willing to do to be liked, even to the point of risking his and his mother's safety and the security of the family possessions. The other theme that emerged was Tuan's high degree of dishonesty.

Rapport's philosophy is to work with its clients' strengths in helping them to overcome their difficulties. Tuan had qualities of intelligence, courage and insight, and he was able to examine some of the reasons why his negative behaviours had been getting the upper hand with him for the past while. He was able to chart the pros and cons of his dishonesty and concluded, with some surprise, that honesty would be better in the long run, as once the lies started there was the pressure to continue. Tuan concluded that it was actually easier to tell the truth and to accept responsibility for his behaviour. Tuan and his counsellor also did some work in the area of self-esteem and self-respect. Of course, when Tuan was no longer being dishonest, he also began to value himself more.

At the conclusion of his counselling work, Tuan was enjoying a more positive relationship with his mother. His living situation was more secure, his school performance improved, and his family began to see him as trustworthy again.

<- back