The Power of Creativity

10 Stories for 10 Years

The inability to communicate with one another can harm an important relationship. Developing a common language can open the doors for repair.

“Mitchell,” a 12-year-old Native American male in the South, was navigating a complicated family situation when he walked into a local mental health clinic. In the middle of his parent’s divorce, he attempted to end his life and spent several weeks in the hospital. When he was ready for outpatient treatment, his mother sought out the best treatment possible. She cared for him deeply and hated to see him struggle with so much pain.

Mitchell’s clinician introduced him to the CAMS Framework®, but she quickly realized the need to adapt it to his situation. She reflects, “Mitchell was largely nonverbal, so we got creative during the CAMS Assessment® through art projects, YouTube videos, and games to get him talking in different ways.”

Within a few sessions, they identified that stress and self-hate were the reasons for Mitchell’s suicidality. His mother was a vital player in his community of care, yet his stress centered on his inability to communicate effectively with her. Mitchell’s clinician helped him find new ways of expressing himself while supporting his mother as she engaged in therapy to work on her communication with him.

Then, Mitchell disclosed his reason for self-hate, anchored in a serious sexual assault he experienced at a large department store. He blamed himself for it. His clinician immediately incorporated this trauma into treatment, helping him process it through trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.

Mitchell walked out of therapy for the last time as a different person than when he walked in. CAMS Treatment® not only took suicide off the table; it also helped him repair his relationship with his mother, the person closest to him. Most importantly, it helped Mitchell to see himself in a completely different light.