Carla is a 39 year old woman who is married. She has 2 children: a girl of 8 years old and a boy of 3 years old. She was a French teacher but she stopped working 5 years ago.
She came to the clinic because she couldn’t sleep, her appetite has increased, she lost interest in activities she used to enjoy, she had interpersonal disputes with her mother in law, she couldn’t stand her children, and wasn’t able to take care of her daily life tasks. She also had experienced during her entire life kleptomaniac episodes (shoplifting).
The psychiatrist puts her under medication to help her sleep at night and recommended psychotherapy.
During the psychotherapy sessions, she talked about unsuccessful work experiences which lead to her to doubt herself and stop seeking job opportunities. She was feeling guilty because she couldn’t take care of her children and was always tense. She had sexual difficulties with her husband. Her lack of self-esteem was mainly because she always compares herself to other people around her and even on social media, especially the celebrities; she had an ideal perception about other people’s lives and that money made their life better.
The objectives of therapy were first to work on her relationship with her children and find ways to deal with them. The second objective was to work on her self-esteem to encourage her to find work and stick to it and to build interpersonal skills so she can be able to defend herself when needed. The third objective was to let her have a more realistic vision about other people’s life.
Carla was very cooperative; she never missed a session and was very motivated.
During four months of work together, many aspects of Carla’s life changed; she began to sleep better (psychiatrist was able de decrease the dose of her medication), her relationship with her children was more peaceful and she enjoys spending time with them, she began to walk in the morning and to do her daily tasks so she began to lose weight and stop focusing on food, which motivated her even more. The relationship with her husband was better, she was able to look on her relationship with her mother in law in a different way and began to have friends in her neighborhood. Before the last session Carla had also found a part time teaching job.
This case shows us the importance of psychotherapy. The objective is not to always achieve a perfect life, for that does not exist, and thus unattainable, but to find appreciation in the things we have and how to build on them for a better self.
The work in the Mental Health Clinic is carried out within the framework of the project “Reducing the economic barriers to access health services in Lebanon (REBAHS Lebanon)” that it develops in consortium with its partners International Medical Corps UK (IMC)and Première Urgence-Aide Médicale Internationale (PU-AMI). The consortium works to improve access to quality services in primary health care, community health and mental health services for Syrian refugees and other vulnerable populations in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Akkar, Tripoli, Bekaa, and the South in close coordination with the Ministry Lebanese Public Health (MoPH).
The project is funded by the General Directorate for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) of the European Commission and is based on the general objective of the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (“MADAD Fund”) of respond to the “needs of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, as well as the communities that host refugees and their administrations, particularly in terms of resilience and speedy recovery.”