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Overcoming Complex PTSD: A Success Story of Positive Behaviour

Case Study

C is a remarkable young girl who has grown up with complex PTSD. Her early life involved living with a foster family, where she displayed behaviours that challenge, despite her acceptance of her foster parents. Following a severe mental health crisis, C had to transition to another foster setting, and ultimately, she was admitted to the hospital due to difficulties in managing her behaviour and communication.

During her hospital stay, C struggled with the change in environment, exhibiting distress through self-harming and running away. Our team intervened to provide support, quickly building a rapport with her, which helped stabilise her emotions. However, upon discharge to residential service, C’s condition deteriorated, necessitating our team’s return and a move to Bristol for intensive 3:1 support. This support structure included a Registered Nurse and two Support Workers, catering to her unique needs and preferences.

“At the start, I wasn’t too sure about certain staff, but I have grown close to them. Staff have been persistent with me and learned my likes and dislikes – even how I like pancakes.” 

– C 

A tailored approach using the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) model was implemented, focusing on understanding the triggers behind C’s behaviours. The PBS approach involved a comprehensive assessment of C’s needs, preferences, and triggers for her behaviours, actively involving her in the process. This engagement helped C feel respected and in control. Our strategy included establishing consistent daily routines, therapeutic activities for PTSD, and regular mental health therapy sessions, all of which were personalised to her needs. After a year of consistent and personalised support, C has made significant progress.

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