victim of child physical abuse
Regina is anxious and depressed. At 13, she has joined her first pre-gang causing more tension at home… after her parents found out that her cousins had indoctrinated her into a gang.
victim of teen dating violence
Talisha loves a boy two years older than herself. She sees past the face-slaps and bruises he gives her in his thunderous rage. She ……
victim of traumatic grief
Matthew’s father went to work one morning and never came back. A New York policeman, he had run into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and died as the buildings collapsed on top of him.
Matthew’s life collapsed, too, under the weight of that awful morning. Just 6 and extremely close to his father, he began crying and expressing anger with alarming frequency. He stopped reading.
Matthew and his mother were assigned to work with Michelle, a therapist trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Grief. She taught them skills to handle anger and anxiety. The crying and yelling started to subside.
Part of the therapy was helping Matthew write a book about his father and how he died. He then was scheduled to share the narrative with his mother. When Matthew began to share it, he began to cry and crawled under his mother’s chair. Matthew’s mother responded by reaching out to hold him. He allowed her to soothe him and together, they practice a relaxation skill taught by Michelle. Michelle then encouraged Matthew and his mother to read the book together while she held him.
When they finished, Matthew told the therapist that “sometimes it is just someone’s time to go, and then they die.” He was beginning to make meaning of the tragedy.
Next, Michelle worked with Matthew to create a memory box, filled with mementos of his father. When the box was completed, Matthew took it home and opened it when he wanted to think or talk about his father. Only weeks after shutting down at mention of his father, Matthew started to learn that traumatic recollections can be delicately redirected into memories more warm and therapeutic.
When applied astutely and gently, cognitive behavioral therapy works to help children speak more openly and learn how to heal.
victim of child sexual abuse
Carlos loved gymnastics. Tumbling and flipping were his favorites. But when he was sexually abused by his coach, it was his 7-year-old life that got turned upside down.
He is having nightmares, wetting his bed, having tantrums, and afraid of gymnastics altogether. His supportive mother is torn between trying to give him time and helping him realize that life does go on. She read about how helpful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be and spoke to our intake coordinator about that intervention. But we can’t see him yet, because of our waiting list. His school is pressuring her to address his behavior. If we don’t see Carlos and his mother soon, she will have to seek other – most likely less effective — care or give up.
If we don’t intervene, Carlos will almost certainly face social and emotional problems in adolescence and adulthood. He is at significant risk for dropping out of school, succeeding in workplace and family life.
A moment of abuse can last a lifetime.
whose family needed multi-cultural therapy
Emilia, age 7, was sexually abused by her 21-year-old cousin. She comes from a Hispanic family with a history of abuse. She urgently needs to get off the PARTNERS waiting list to receive two types of interventions: short-term to handle the trauma, and long-term to separate from her familys history and create her own life direction.
With most of Emilia’s key family members knowing only Spanish, other therapy has been ineffective. She needs top-caliber intervention that is culturally-sensitive.
“I came to PARTNERS to be involved in my daughter’s therapy with my husband, but I wasn’t sure whether there would be a Spanish-speaking therapist for us who would also speak English to Emilia,” her mother recalled. “PARTNERS gave my family exactly what we needed, and even more: a multicultural understanding of our Nicaraguan background. After 6 months this allowed Emilia to feel normal again.”
Emilia learned that the abuse wasn’t her fault, and grew unashamed to speak openly with her parents. The whole family became involved — her three sisters even came to celebrate her graduation from therapy.
“Gracias por existir PARTNERS! Quedémonos socios para combatir el silencio del abuso de nuestras comunidades.”
Translated: “Thank you for existing, PARTNERS! Let’s remain partners to combat the silence of abuse in our communities together.”