Engaging the Disengaged

As a semi-independent therapeutic project that works with young women aged 16-21 years, a common phenomenon is that this group is hard to reach. When facing the challenges of their need for social interactions, independence and autonomy, here at The Medusa Project we value their individual process and ensure that we meet each young woman, where she is on her journey.

For any young person the transition from adolescence to adulthood can be daunting, the young women at The Medusa Project have experienced many difficulties by the time they reach us, and these can become exacerbated during their stay with us. Through observation we have noticed that some young woman due to their survival mechanisms, can withdraw from aspects of the project, as this transition can feel overwhelming.

Some young women may display challenging behaviours, show an inability to emotionally regulate, have an increased dependency or have a low tolerance of being cared for. During this process, each young woman is treated with patience, acceptance and integrity. It is understandable that they may return to their primitive defence mechanisms, but ultimately here at The Medusa Project, our aim is for all young women to feel able to express themselves fully, and we support them in working towards complete autonomy.

There is a tangible fear of what the future holds for them, and where they will be within the Looked After System once they reach 18; and this can become their focal point. Through awareness we hold this in mind, as they travel through their recovery and recognise that it is likely to be a long journey hence, our age range flexibility allowing young women the opportunity to stay-on at the project post 18; enabling us to support her until the age of 21 should she need this, as we recognise one size does not fit all.

As a team, we support each young woman through regular key-working sessions, engaging her to work towards independence and teaching her new living skills. At times, when a young woman is disengaged or feeling overwhelmed, a team member ensures that they are available to meet with her at all times.

Due to their complex needs, a young woman can at times feel uncomfortable and/or unsafe; with this in mind the team work diligently with other professionals to ensure that each individual is advocated for positively, to ensure her best possible care.

Our philosophy at The Medusa Project is to provide a humanistic approach; this ensures that the best interest of each young woman is kept in mind and at the forefront of any work that we provide.

Through creative methods this process can feel non-threatening and we provide a safe place to interact, allowing each young woman to engage with difficult feelings, which she may have previously avoided. This takes place with our in-house Art Psychotherapist who works with both verbal and non-verbal communication, allowing the young woman to understand her inner world and provides an explorative place to build upon her sense of self.

At times, we are challenged by a lack of motivation that can arise from an individual, which can lead to further withdrawal. During these times, it has been important to continue to persevere and often remind her that there are people here, who care for her, showing her that she is in our thoughts, affirming that no matter what place she is in, or how low she may feel, she is accepted through our unconditional positive regard.

Would you like to find out how The Medusa Project successfully works with young women aged 16 – 21 who experience trauma, attachment and emotional difficulties.

For more information or to arrange a visit, please visit our website www.themedusaproject.org or send us an email at info@themedusaproject.org.