Adam was scared of injections. He came to see me because he needed an injection so that he could go to a family wedding in Cuba. Actually, he didn’t care so much about going but his parents were not happy about leaving this twelve year old behind.
The family had traced it back to the time when he was about 8 and had handled a needle he had found in some Fast Food toilets on a family trip. There had been a tremendous fuss, he had had to go to hospital for all sorts of tests over several months. It sounded horrible. Adam had subsequently been scared when anyone even mentioned hospitals and doctors, and especially so if Injections were talked about. This had got so bad that at one point when his father took him to the doctors, he had wound down the window and climbed out and run away.
Over three appointments [and the last was largely a courtesy meeting] we had gone through the incident with the needle and its consequences… in the end it turned out that he had actually been traumatised years before.
When he was just 5, the whole class had to be given an injection. Adam was at the end of the line, and this was the end of the day. The nurse had been in a hurry and brusque with a little boy who really wanted his Mum there. Since then he had been terrified of injections.
Easy peasy. We went back to that little boy’s experience, and had him review it from his present position as a Secondary boy. He was no longer the little child who had to do as he was told by a grumpy woman. She might have had a good reason, but she did not behave well. Or professionally. Adam could see that, found he could deal with it, and that though it might not be fun to have an injection – it would be do-able and he wanted to go to Cuba.
The third appointment was to tell me he had been and gone to the Doctors with his father!!! And that he wasn’t afraid anymore.