You pat the papers you’re holding into a neater pile and cross your legs. Before letting him go, you say to Brian, “Next time we will be meeting together with your grandma, so that we can update her on your progress. You will be helping me to do that, as my co-informer.”
“Would you feel comfortable if I share your life timeline and your trauma narrative with her?”
He shifts uncomfortably in his seat and murmurs, “Why do we have to do that?”
“Is there any particular reason why you don’t want her to know?”
“Well…” he looks down at his hands and quietly continues, “she’s already so stressed. I am afraid that she will be very sad when she hears my story and I don’t want to burden her.”
“That is very nice of you, Brian,” you respond sincerely. “The reason that we share the story is so she can have a better understanding of what you have been experiencing and how she can support you.”
“OK, no problem then.”
There is a knock at the door. You say, “Come in!” and Brian’s grandma, Ms. Clancy sticks her head around the frame.
“May I come in?” she asks.
“Yes,” you answer with a smile, “we just finished.”
You stay seated as she comes into the office and joins Brian on the couch. She says, “Thank you,” and then turns to look into Brian’s face, searching. “How was the session?”
He shies away a little, but one corner of his mouth lifts as he replies, “It was good, Grandma.”
“Ms. Clancy, do you still have the worksheet I gave you in the first session, called, ‘The List of Potential Cues’?”
She nods steadily, “Oh, yes. I have been keeping a record of the things that might trigger Brian’s reactions.”
You grin, “Wonderful, thank you! Could you, please, bring that list with you next time? Next session—Session 8—we will all be meeting together, and Brian and I will update you on the progress in therapy!”
Ms. Clancy agrees, “Sure, sounds good! Thank you.” She smacks Brian’s thigh lovingly. “Ready to go home?”