James was a young man who had been identified by a community pharmacist as being appropriate for the group. He was 21 years old, living at home and struggling with symptoms of increased urinary frequency and at times incontinence. He had every investigation under the sun with as yet no success. This had interfered with his ability to continue at university and had gradually meant he had stopped socialising and had become very low in confidence. He joined our small group with a few other younger participants and a few older ones. James attended very regularly and found that after his symptoms disappeared, which happened very quickly, he found he felt incredibly depressed. He was able particularly to link art work with body feelings and attitudes. He found he could talk about his difficulties with the group without ever having to actually name the symptom he had come with.
He used the sessions to access his creativity and began to become aware of levels of tension and relaxation in his body. He had a vivid imagination which he could tap into through the relaxation and playful aspects of the group. James used art work particularly to find which bits of himself and his body he liked or found difficult. He began to build a more detailed picture of the different aspects of himself, which meant he came back into relationship with parts of himself and began to feel more in control. James found the middle stages of the group difficult and would spend long periods being quiet and sometimes have to actually move away from the group. However he still stayed with it, he turned up and eventually found ways to talk about his experiences. He found in the later stages that he could share more about how he felt about himself, and through the group realised that some people could understand how he struggled with certain things. He realised that some young people and older people shared similar experiences to him. He felt the possibility of being better understood and he said this gave him hope about the future. Part of what James discovered and could share with the group was a sense of his own uniqueness. People enjoyed his quirky sense of humour, his artistic mind and alternative ways of looking at things. They would actively give him feedback when a new or different idea sprang from him. As a result of the group he felt he was able now to go back and study and felt more confident in sharing himself with those around him. By the end his mood had lifted considerably, however once again links to other support were discussed with him should he feel the need of it in the future.