She is just a young girl. Yet in her recent past, she was hurt by someone so badly, she could have died.
She is safe now. She has loving family. Yet like most children who experience severe trauma, she has emotional and behavioral problems she cannot conquer alone. That is why Bethel is here.
The Fallout of Crisis
Children who have experienced trauma will often act out at home and at school. The more severe the trauma, the worse the behavior, as if their anger can erase the things that have scarred their young lives.
When this young girl came to Bethel, she was acting out by lying, stealing and causing havoc. She was seriously behind in school. With her emotions so tangled up in the serious events of her past, she could not trust adults and didn’t know how to relate to kids her own age.
The Power of Tiny
In addition to the group and individual therapeutic counseling offered to kids at Bethel, this young girl was introduced to equine therapy and a miniature horse named Tiny.
“One of my favorite things is going to equine therapy,” she says with a huge smile. “A horse has to learn to trust you. I’ve learned to trust others and get others to trust me just like Tiny does.”
“Bethel began working with equine therapy last year and we have seen amazing results,” says Robin Moss, Bethel’s Director of Therapeutic Programs. “We use the Eagala Model of equine therapy, which includes a licensed Mental Health Professional and an Equine Specialist working together with the client and horse at all times.”
“Equine therapy does not include horse riding, but children in therapy can groom the horse, talk quietly and make deep connections,” Robin adds. “Many children will tell things to a horse that they cannot speak out loud to anyone else.” Bethel is thankful to Jeanie Noll of Chickamauga, GA, who shares her equine expertise with Bethel’s kids.
What Healing and Hope Look Like
We rejoice when we see the progress this young girl has made at Bethel in the past eight months. It is the answer to many prayers. She has reached the point of healing where she not only sees the change in herself, she is thankful for those who are helping overcome her painful past.
“Ms. Kim (counselor) and Ms. Trish (counselor and social worker) have helped me a lot,” she says. “I’m also learning a lot from my House Parents. Missy teaches me about boundaries. Ms. Deborah is teaching me to cook. Uncle Floyd reminds me to be myself, to study hard and to read the Bible. My teachers at BCA are helping me and I’m making A’s and B’s.”
“I’m learning about empathy,” she notes. “I’ve learned it’s important to be nice to others. My favorite Bible verse is this:
“Ephesians 4:32: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave.”
The child’s name and details about her story are kept confidential for her protection.
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