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Adrian, Christi learn to trust each other

October 30, 2014
Youth Villages Family Intervention Specialist Lori Platt, left, with Adrian and Christi

Youth Villages Family Intervention Specialist Lori Platt, left, with Adrian and Christi

Rebuilding trust between a mother and son doesn’t happen overnight. It’s gradual, sometimes incremental. In Adrian and Christi’s case, regaining trust in each other was essential to their success.

Adrian, 15, was placed in state custody in 2010 because of his mother, Christi’s neglect.
Christi, who’s in recovery, had struggles with addiction. When custody was restored, the two had a difficult time. Therapy services for the family weren’t working, and Adrian was closing off, refusing to communicate with Christi. What little trust they had in each other faded.

“We couldn’t talk to each other without screaming,” Christi said. “Everything related to Adrian and me was just going backward.”

In the meantime, Adrian’s withdrawal escalated, and he had thoughts of harming himself. His ideations resulted in an ongoing cycle of hospitalization, then residential treatment and outpatient care. Nothing was working. Following one severe incident, the hospital referred Adrian to Youth Villages Oregon’s Christie Campus. There, he took a turn for the better.

He was discharged and placed back home with his mother, where the family began intensive in-home services through Youth Villages’ Oregon Intercept®. Lori Platt was their family intervention specialist.

Lori met with the family at least three days a week. She learned that Adrian had trouble coming to terms with his mother’s past behavior, and Christi was at a loss for what to do about her son’s actions. With Lori’s help, Christi and Adrian began taking small steps toward trusting each other.

They first accepted that each was doing the best they could.

“I learned a lot from Lori,” Christi said. “Before I took Adrian’s actions personally. But it wasn’t about how I parent, it’s about how Adrian feels.”

Conversely, Adrian began communicating more with his mother. They both understood it was OK to disagree. The two began using collaborative problem solving as a means to work together to address a problem or question.

“They started with small things,” Lori said. “Then they gradually worked up to more difficult problems associated with their relationship.”

CPS allowed Christi and Adrian to discuss previous barriers in a different context. It restored their trust and reestablished the roles for each that had been muddied by their pasts.

“It wasn’t just about Adrian, it was about us as a family,” Christi said. “We were able to work through our issues and Lori was there to support me and to support Adrian.”

Adrian began doing simple things to help out around the house. He began participating in Youth Move, a local peer support system. He continued playing music, something he enjoys.

“He plays seven stringed instruments, but guitar is his favorite,” Christi said. “Now he channels his energy in a positive way – he plays and it makes things OK.”

Adrian discharged successfully in July. The family continues to receive therapy, but the home is significantly different.

“Things are awesome,” Christi said. “I can’t express the changes I’ve seen in my child. I’m just really grateful for what Oregon Intercept and Lori did for us. She met us and talked to us whenever and wherever we needed.”

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