Clients: Bob and Sue Cleaver
Case history: Bob and Sue’s daughter, Jenny (16) went missing six months ago and has not been seen since; referral to service via police.
This is the first time Sue and Bob have been in counselling. Discussion centred around how the sessions would work. Long term goals are to connect the family with missing persons groups, and to consider the potential outcomes to their daughter’s case.
We discussed the initial events surrounding Jenny’s disappearance. Both Sue and Bob, but Sue in particular, are struggling with the knowledge that no-one saw Jenny on the evening she disappeared after she left the house. Sue is obsessively cleaning, Bob is worried. We agreed to discuss this more next week.
Agreed plan of action: Sue and Bob to keep diaries of their domestic and work activities over the week.
We talked about the domestic and work diaries. There were discrepancies – Sue recorded Bob working at home in her diary, this was absent from Bob’s. Bob recorded Sue as taking part in more home working and cleaning than Sue recorded. We discussed sensible routines for both of them and they decided to trial one evening out a week.
We discussed feelings of guilt in relation to Jenny’s disappearance and positive strategies for overcoming these.
Agreed plan of action: Sue and Bob to have an evening out this week
Both Sue and Bob are disturbed by the behaviour of their daughter’s friend, who has been dressing as Jenny and spending time at their house. They didn’t go out together this week due to this situation. It is clearly causing them distress and making it difficult for them to progress.
We discussed strategies for sending the girl home. Sue feels unable to talk to the girl’s parents; Bob has agreed to talk to them. Sue has started cleaning obsessively again, although neither Bob or Sue is working at home as often as they were.
Agreed plan of action: Bob to talk to the family of Jenny’s friend. Sue and Bob to have separate sessions next week due to work commitments.