Disobedience and Anger
Matthew was a boy aged three years and ten months. His mother complained that he was persistently disobedient at home for the previous six months or so and yet was an “angel” at day-care which he had attended since he was six weeks of age. Mum had been separated for ten months from a violent alcoholic husband and had full custody of Matthew. She was concerned that Matthew had witnessed his father’s violent behaviour and was copying it. He had not seen his father in three months and yet his behaviour was getting worse. Matthew would frequently have temper tantrums about the least little thing. He would then kick and scream and frequently use bad language. When reprimanded he would get so hysterical that she would need to spend a long time calming him down.
I recommended the Goulding SleepTalk® for Children process and explained how to use it. We made an appointment the following week to assess him in play. He seemed very placid and was very likeable. His play had prominent themes of feeding and being fed, perhaps reflecting his insecurity and need to be nurtured. I felt that it would be useful to continue the play therapy in conjunction with SleepTalk®. However, his mother cancelled the next appointment due to work commitments. She returned two weeks later and reported that Matthew was much better. She also felt less anxious about him as she felt more empowered since being able to administer the SleepTalk®. He responded within a week. She made a point of including Matthew’s father in the positive statements.
Mum was more confident in her role as a mother and agreed to contact me if the need arose. Six months later, I made a routine follow-up and was informed that all was well.