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Case Study: Lee's Story

Lee was referred to The Bridge via his Connexions P.A. after he had been thrown out and gone to stay with a friend, before reluctantly returning home, with things still unresolved. 

There had been arguments at home for several years and Lee regarded his family as ‘a bad family’ where drugs and the police were never far away.  This had had a knock on effect at school and his behaviour was letting him down because he was well aware of his potential to succeed and the need to do something about it.

At this point Lee didn’t want us to talk to anyone else in the family so we arranged to see him at s2chool. After listening to Lee’s account of the different areas of his life, home, school, work experience and social life it became apparent that he had few boundaries and little thought for the consequences until he realised he was reaching the point of no return.  

Lee realised that getting out of trouble was harder than getting into it in the first place so we asked how avoiding the trouble in the first place would impact on his life from now on, he said that it would enable him improve relationships at home and pursue his ambitions.

What small changes could make a positive difference to both Lee and his family’s life?  We looked at each area of his life separately, for instance at school he constantly ignored the ‘no hats on in class’ and he would end up getting into trouble which put him in a bad mood which had a detrimental effect on his schoolwork. 

When we asked Lee to consider what difference keeping to the rule would have he realised that his schoolwork would benefit which would have positive knock on effects both at home and school. After looking at the consequences of his actions in each area of his life he came up with his action plan of small changes that would make a difference and allow him to pursue his ambitions.

The relationships at home and school were much better and he even influenced decisions within his peer group. We had said to Lee at the beginning of mediation that it would require some effort on his part to achieve something worthwhile and for the few months we saw him at school he showed a willingness to give it a go which resulted in him feeling a lot more positive about the future.

This case remained a one party mediation rather than eventually leading to joint meetings with all involved mainly because Lee realised he’d made mistakes and took responsibility by his willingness to get himself on track which improved his family relationships without the need to directly involve them.

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