The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "My Therapist Had a Big Heart
My Therapist Had a Big Heart
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The writer has been in therapy since she was five years old, but it is not until she is a teenager that she finds the right one for her. Her therapist Andrea relates well to her and can make her laugh, but most of all she confronts the writer about her problems, doesn’t let her hide, and pushes her to change. Therapy doesn’t solve her problems, but does help her gradually become stronger.

Prompts for discussion and/or writing:

--The writer considers her first counselor, Lisa, to be more of a friend than a counselor. What makes a counselor or a therapist a friend? Is it always good for a counselor or therapist to be like a friend? Why or why not?

--She writes that sometimes her counselor Lisa was “too soft, too sweet. Once in a while I needed for her to crack so I could see that she was real.” What does the writer mean by this? Do you agree with what she says? Why or why not?

--The writer says that her therapist Andrea didn’t let her hide, but pushed and confronted her. What kinds of things do you think Andrea pushed or confronted the writer about? Why was that a good thing for her?

Activity: Youth can work in pairs or in small groups. The writer describes the qualities she likes in a therapist: someone who can put her at ease and who can relate to her problems, but who also isn’t afraid to confront her about her problems. Have the groups list three qualities that make a good therapist and three that make a bad one. Go around the room, list the suggestions on the board, and discuss.
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