Curtis (age 7) lived with his mother and step-father. In their care he was subject to physical abuse and neglect and witnessed drug use. His maternal great grandparents died in 2014. Shortly after their deaths Curtis moved to live with his father and then his paternal grandparents, this has meant him attending 3 different schools.
During the home assessment visit Curtis’s grandmother raised concern about Curtis’s behaviour. He was having violent tantrums 2-3 times a week and unable to talk about why he was feeling so angry.
Curtis attended the bereavement support weekend held in Thanet in November 2015.
Curtis engaged well during the weekend and took an active part in all the activities. He was particularly engaged in the music therapy session and spent a lot of time playing the guitar. He chose to play on the guitar, accompanied by the music therapist, during the closing ceremony.
At the follow-up visit, Curtis’s grandmother said that since attending the weekend Curtis had asked for a guitar, which he will now play regularly. She reported that his tantrums have decreased dramatically and he will often talk to her about how he is feeling while strumming the guitar.
It would appear that the music session at the bereavement support weekend has introduced Curtis to the guitar as a method of self-soothing, helping him to regulate his behaviour and express his feelings and emotions.