Rachel, Serendipity Student

Rachel was referred to Serendipity Center at age 14, after her third residential treatment placement. Her parents divorced when she was 7 and after she had moved in exclusively with her Mom, she disclosed sexual abuse by her father. As a result, Rachel had been struggling with emotional regulation at home and at school all throughout her elementary school years. She was easily overwhelmed with academic expectations and had difficulty managing her stress in the classrooms. Rachel started having incidents of self-harm when she was 11, and had been hospitalized three times due to suicidal thoughts.

Enrolled in Serendipity as an eighth grader, Rachel initially struggled. In the beginning of her placement, she had trouble trusting adults and acted out by showing oppositional behaviors. She also had difficulty getting along with peers and developing healthy relationships.

Throughout her stay at Serendipity Center, Rachel responded very well to a great deal of structure and support in her school environment. She started spending sustained time in the classroom and developed strong relationships with staff members. She also made great growth in socializing with her peers in age-appropriate ways, expressing her feelings in a safe manner, and using healthy coping strategies to manage her stress. Rachel also gained self-confidence and was willing to explore her interest in writing. She published several poems that related to her childhood trauma.

As she became ready to transfer her new skills to a larger setting, a transition was planned. Rachel returned to a neighborhood school in ninth grade with much more confidence in herself and her ability to achieve success.