A Different Approach: Nathan’s Story

Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) believes in treating and supporting children, youth and families with our strength-based services. These services assist individuals and families in heightening social-emotional well-being and guiding those that have been impacted by trauma and abuse through the healing process.

Our Behavioral Health and Trauma Support Services help more than 20,000 children, youth, and families across the state each year. Here is one of their stories.

Nathan* is a teenage boy who was constantly getting in trouble for lying, sneaking out and having trouble at school. The family came to AzCA and participated in our Parenting the Traumatized Child services. After working specifically with the parents on being an emotional container and finding new ways of staying calm, Nathan’s mom received a call from the school about Nathan being suspended.

Before working with AzCA, Nathan’s mom would have escalated and become really upset, which typically lead to a fight and a repeat of the same patterns of behavior from the entire family. This time, she took a moment to herself before picking up Nathan from school. When she picked him up, she could tell that he was upset and angry.

The first thing she said to Nathan was “You are probably hungry since you missed lunch, how about we go out and get some lunch?” Nathan’s mom said that the conversation they had over lunch that day was one of the most eye opening, transparent conversations they ever had. Nathan told his mom about how he had been struggling and acting out to symbolize how much he needed help. Nathan’s mom knew that she would have never made that connection with him if she had responded in her “normal, escalated way.”

Nathan and his family’s story is just one journey which utilizes our Behavioral Health and Trauma Support Services. Our programs provide support and intervention for children and their families to address current needs and strengthen the family unit. You can learn more about these services here.

* Names have been changed to protect our client’s identities.

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