Freya’s Story

All stories are examples of the way psychological treatment can be helpful, and are not real

Freya is a sweet and clever eight year-old girl who loves to dance. She is very popular with all her friends. She lives with her mother Leena and her grandmother Amira. Since her parents separated a year ago, Amira has noticed that Freya worries a lot. She has bad dreams about someone breaking into her home at night and taking her away. She becomes anxious and tearful every night, which is very distressing for Leena. Freya’s bedtime routine takes a very long time, as she insists on her mother helping her check all the doors and windows several times. Despite constant reassurance, Freya often lies awake late into the night. She is becoming exhausted, and teachers at school have noticed a change in her.

How could Everlief help?

A clinical psychologist would meet with Freya, Leena and Amira. They may also seek the views of Freya’s father, with permission from Leena. The psychologist would help Freya and her family to understand how the problem may have developed, and would recommend a course of treatment which may involve some sessions with the three of them together. Together, they may:

  • Think about how to support Freya to feel more secure, and less inclined to take on adult worries.
  • Practise relaxation techniques to use at bedtime.
  • Learn cognitive-behavioural strategies to challenge Freya’s worrying thoughts which lead to her needing to check her house is secure.
  • Gradually practise reducing the number of times Freya checks the locks each night.
  • Help Freya’s family feel empowered to support her, and ensure they are not unwittingly causing the problem to get worse, for example by checking the locks for her.
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