She asked her mother to take her to a counselor. Her mother was worried, why did she want to see one? But her daughter insisted and so they came to see me.
She is a bright student, very good looking, and appeared very composed. She actually did not seem to have any problem; she just wanted to talk to someone else other than her mother. She was and is very close to her mother, but she felt there are certain things, which cannot be discussed with a mother. So she wanted to meet a counselor.
She spoke about her school, about her friends, and about her family. There were precisely three things bothering her.
First was her set of friends. She had changed her school; she feels she had better friends in the previous school. None of her friends in the present school would want to go out for a walk or to a movie in a group. She was puzzled at this behavior. If she visited any one of them, she did not get to interact with their parents. Whereas her mother was at ease with all her friends. She was frustrated at not having any close friend, she felt everyone needs one. All her present classmates were very undecided as to what they wanted to do in the future. They said their parents would plan for them. She was very restless. They were amazed she did her own shopping for clothes, stationary, etc. And she was puzzled by their amazement.
She was very sure she would work before marriage. She wanted to live separately from her parents, wanted to wear modern clothes, (not offensive ones), and wanted lots of friends. All her classmates just wanted to study, and they had no time for leisure activities. No one was interested in long telephone calls, and they kind of avoided her because they found her to be a little strange.
Her second point of frustration was her maternal grandmother. She said the old lady interfered in everything she did, and was constantly monitoring her. She could not have telephone conversations with anyone, she was not to dress in a particular way, and she was supposed to be studying all the time. She was good at her studies, she did not need to be glued to her books all the time, but her grandmother nagged her to study. Her grandmother also objected to her studying behind closed doors. This lady was in charge of the kids, because her daughter was a working woman. She was from the native village, and she felt she was responsible for their upbringing. She had a point, but her over zealous nature was rubbing the kids the wrong way.
The third grouse this girl had is about her non-interactive father. She described him as being indifferent to her from when she was a child. He preferred to spend time with her younger brother. He seemed uncomfortable in handling a teenage daughter. He would leave instructions for her with her mother. This always upset her; she said he could talk to her directly. She would watch when he played with his son, and the hurt would go in deeper. Why did her father prefer her brother to her? But she did not want to discuss this issue in detail. I suggested she should, because it was obviously having such a profound effect on her. But she adamantly refused. She was not willing to explore that avenue at all.
After she had finished, I asked her if she was looking for a good friendship? She said she was. But was openly disappointed she did not have one. I told her not to despair, she would definitely get one. She was young, maybe in college or at workplace she would meet someone with whom she would hit it off. She was mollified to an extent.
About her grandmother, I explained to her the possible reasons for her behavior. I asked her to look at it from her grandmother’s viewpoint. She grudgingly accepted the truth, but since was still upset by this, I promised to talk to her mother to see that too much interference is not there.
Her mother was very anxious. She wanted to know what the problem was. I reassured her there was no problem; her daughter was only venting some teenage emotional problems. I asked her about the relationship between father and daughter, she admitted there was a problem, but said she really could not do much in that area. I also told her how her daughter was not willing to delve into that issue.
The mother agreed her mother was being over anxious and was laying down too many rules. She promised to have a chat with her and see if she could get her to ease off.
After the session, my client expressed an interest in pursuing a career in psychology. She wanted to know what counseling was all about. She had a very thoughtful look and I could visualize her mind turning over the facts.
She is an extremely intelligent girl. She is very focused, and very mature for her age. I could see her mother’s pride in having such a daughter. Her mother said she could understand her daughter’s pain with her father’s rejection, because she herself was very close to her father.
A delightful girl and I wished her all the best in all her future ventures. She is close to her mother and she was chafing to grow up so that she could lead her life the way she wanted. I know she will have a great life, she is determined enough.