At the age of 14, on his way home from school, Ali witnessed two local people being set on fire by the Taliban. Ali’s father was then also killed by the Taliban after reporting the incident to the police. His uncle organised Ali’s escape from the country, with his mother and two younger brothers. On the journey, Ali became separated from his family and has not had any contact with them since.
When we first met him, Ali was unable to sleep, had flashbacks and a deep sense of guilt and helplessness. He struggled with the separation from his mother and wanted to end his life. He believed that if he died he would see his family again in the afterlife.
Ali’s My View therapist, Shahla, speaks Farsi, a similar language to his mother tongue, which helped Ali to open up. She encouraged him to explore happy childhood memories so that he could re-connect with his sense of self before he lost his family. Recently, Ali read out a letter he wrote to Shahla.