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A mother and son’s story

Sade* lives in xxx and lives with chronic pain. She consulted her GP who felt strongly that some of Sade’s symptoms could be treated by addressing issues in her relationship with her son Ade*.

The GP contacted Daniel* the local FGC coordinator, who contacted Sade. When Daniel reached out to her, Sade was apprehensive about interacting with a new professional. Daniel was careful and worked hard to build up a relationship gradually.

Despite this approach Sade kept changing her mind and Daniel had to remain patient with her. He also discovered there was an issue with her mobile which was having a negative impact on early attempts at connection and communication. Then Daniel received another call from Sade’s GP to say that she mentioned him in their appointment and assuring him that when he got back in contact, Sade was definitely willing to move forward with the FGC.

Then Daniel and Sade met in person and her worries were alleviated. At their first session together, they discussed what she would want from a FGC. Daniel was pleased to be able to share the flexibility the FGC model and how it can change to fit any family situation. He made it clear to Sade that FGC could be structured in any way that worked for her. Sade decided wanted two conferences, one with just her son Ade to address the issues in their relationship and a second with her wider family, friends and social network to gather support.

Daniel took Ade out to lunch and found that he was open to speaking about the relationship with his Mum from his point of view.

Then they set up the first FGC, bringing Mum and Son together. At that meeting, they spoke about how they can improve their relationship and quality of life. They discussed what happens when Sade wakes up in pain and her pain affects her mood. Sade realised that she takes out her bad mood on Ade, and he acknowledged that he can sometimes be insensitive when this happens. Mum and Son agreed to give each other space.

Sade also shared that she wanted Ade to do more things for himself, as he currently relies heavily on her to arrange appointments and events. This discussion led to a conversation about Ade’s confidence; he has done online courses but struggles with face-to-face contact with people in his workplace. Daniel pointed out that Ade has already taken a huge step to address this kind of issue by engaging with him, building trust with a professional was initially out of his comfort zone.

As a result of this meeting Sade and Ade drew up a list of agreements and put it on the fridge. In a planned future meeting they will tweak this document and discuss it with Sade’s foster parents and her friend.

For this family the FGC model worked like a pebble tossed into a pond, ripples reaching out from a central force, their mother son relationship has improved and prevented the need for Adult Social Care involvement.

*all names have been changed