Claire’s Story

Learning to Help Herself, Preparing to Help Others

Claire had experienced periods of homelessness, physical and sexual abuse, and domestic violence. Her self destructive behaviors and suicide attempts required therapeutic clinical intervention.  While at theVillage she received therapies that had shown evidence to be effective with someone like Claire, who demonstrated  intelligence and the desire for healing.  Another plus was that her grandmother was willing to be a part of the process.

The staff helped Claire confront her past and find successful coping tactics, including progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing, as well as personal favorite coping skills of drawing, walking, and positive thinking.  Claire combined her proclivity for writing poems and stories with drawing and painting to express difficult feelings and memories.  She found a cathartic release of energy and negative thoughts related to self injurious behaviors and eventually developed remarkable control and confidence.  Claire joined the running team, developed assertiveness through intramural games, and participated in Main Line Art Center classes all of which helped her develop social skills.

“I have learned to help myself,” she says. Claire continued to receive clinical support from theVillage once she resumed life with her grandparents, who have new skills for helping her.

Claire intends to pursue a career working with disabled children.