One Boy's Experience in Intermediate Recovery

A 14-year-old male student was referred for school-based trauma/grief services following the death of his mother. The presenting problem listed in the referral was recurrent suspensions for aggressive and defiant behavior, including starting fights with peers, yelling at teachers, and storming out of classrooms. The student's behavior during the course of treatment was volatile. He often came to group sessions with bloody and torn knuckles from fighting or from hitting walls. In the pre-group interview, he described deliberately walking into areas controlled by rival gangs as a means of provoking fights. Later in the group, the student disclosed that his mother had been an intravenous drug user who had died after receiving what he believed was a lethal overdose of heroin from her boyfriend.