2 years ago, I met a 5 year old boy and began treatment due to a trauma history and the current challenges at the time was severe dysregulation that took on the form of aggression towards parents and tearing rooms a part. This boy had been removed from his mother due to her addictions to substances, and then was passed around to various family members before finally landing at paternal grandparents. While being in various family homes, the boy then experienced physical abuse. By the time the boy had begun therapy, he had a tremendous compounding of self-hate, attributing all of his past experiences to the belief “I’m not lovable” and on many occasions would verbalize to me, “If I was good then my family wouldn’t pass me on.” The boy would frequently have severe tantrums and then ask if his caregivers were going to kick him out of the house. Luckily, the caregiver’s saw through the behaviors to see how their grandson was attempting to re-create the belief that no one would like him because of the belief that he was unlovable. This boy in particular, highly enjoyed play therapy, and benefitted greatly from having a safe haven in which to play and (unknowingly) play out emotional themes of trauma. The boy chose my toy bird, that he called “Chirpy” and often played out scenes from his abuse with “Chirpy” and after the play sequence ended, the boy went back to playing as a typical 5-year old. That was the first year of treatment, and in that time the behaviors had decreased significantly, however, there still was exhibited anxiety and challenges in the dynamic the boy was having with grandparents. I then worked with the boy and caregivers in parent-child interactive therapy to continue to support the boy’s ability to decrease the anxiety typically connected with his outbursts. The boy turned 7 this month, and in his last two months of treatment, had met his goals and his behaviors had decreased to the point that he now is able to use coping skills to deal with feelings of stress and frustration, is able to verbalize his wants and feelings to adults, and no longer tantrums. This boy highly benefitted from treatment, and was able to utilize a full two years of weekly therapy. My favorite part about this boy specifically is how differently and more positively he now views himself.
A young teen girl glued to her phone. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary there, but everything became clear when she was asked to talk about why she refused to go to school. She wouldn’t speak.
Session after session Belinda tried and tried to make contact but nothing. Finally, one day Belinda tried playing some music and saw a little smile creep across her face as she slowly began to share some tiny pieces of information about the music she liked. They began talking about anxiety and opening up about going to school.
The teen started to display confidence in talking about her fears, but at the same time her confidence seemed to be helping her decide that she wanted to go back to school.
Sometimes it just takes quiet patience and a little music to turn it all around.
Imagine a tiny hand, a hand without strength or coordination, a new hand.
Even though it belongs to a small child that had been shown violence and neglect, his will seems to be inextinguishable. Without words to explain himself or experience to glean from, he inspires us at each visit with a determination to overcome unimaginable abuse, as if to be reaching for something wonderful with his tiny hand.
His Therapists and Foster parents are amazed by his progress and the
strength he seems to pull from a mysterious cache of optimism, leaving
us all to ponder…….
What is that strength? Where does it come from?
Suddenly, with peaceful satisfaction the answer comes flooding in like a bright light as we realize we’ve just seen a miracle.
4 year old little boy started receiving mental health services to address behavioral issues. He received services for nearly a year. He started co-treatment with OT in July to address sensory needs and motor delays. OT recommended he receive a vision evaluation.
The results were that the child needed glasses. Since he received his glasses and began integrated treatment for behavioral issues along with sensory issues and motor delays, caregiver and therapist have noticed a drastic improvement. He is less hyperactive and has improved ability to self-regulate, including self-control. He has also developed an interest in learning new concepts which he previously avoided, which means he is improving in school as well.
It's amazing how different his world became, once he could see it!
The little girl with red hair was only 8, I’ll call her Red, and she was being seen because her grandma had died. Mom wasn’t in the picture and Dad was incarcerated. Red and her siblings lived with her grandma and step-grandpa when grandma went in for a routine surgery. The surgery had unforeseen complications and grandma didn’t survive.
Red was angry. She didn’t know why God took her grandma when she began play therapy with Marion. Red was very normal and loved to play house and Barbies. Red began to tell Marion stories about her grandma and was shown that these stories were a way to memorialize her precious grandma. Red often said she loved to come to therapy because it was gave her, “time to herself”. Red was sick for her last session.
Skip ahead several weeks – Marion gets a new client. A man. He was grieving the loss of his mother. It was a couple sessions before the light went off in Marion’s head the HE was Red’s father!
He wanted to reunify with his children. He came to every session and worked hard, got a job, started saving money, and was living with an uncle. He asked about life skills classes, he wanted to know how to cook and balance a checkbook. Marion started to bring in simple recipes, she gave him mac and cheese, and took it to the girls….they loved it. At his last meeting he had saved enough for an apartment.
His treatment is ongoing, but in their last session, therapy & life skills, Francine and Marion taught daddy how to do hair of his little girls.
I met who would become a “miracle” client in my eyes. As I began my assessment, a 3 ½ year old boy walked (very unsteadily) into my office for the first time. I’ll call him Harry. Harry was exposed to severe neglect, suspected physical abuse, as parents were addicted to substances. Harry was very underweight for his age when he was found and removed from his parents by CFS. Harry was used to watching TV and had a far-off look about him. Engaging in back and forth play was not even on the table when I first met with him, and the only known way of play was to look at toys and hold on to the table occasionally naming off names of toy objects. The foster parents were very supportive and informed me of how smart Harry was once you got to know him. After a few sessions, it was clear that Harry knew a great deal, but displayed delays in expressing himself verbally. Harry also had very low frustration tolerance, and would hit his own head if he were to trip or make a mistake. It was heartbreaking to see. During the treatment process, Harry was discovered to have vision issues and needs for occupational therapy; walking is hard when you are unable to see clearly where you are in space!
Fast forward to a year later, and the healing gift of repentance and sobriety along with hard work has led to the reunification of Harry’s biological parents. Up until the reunification I was able to work with 2 different foster families who had cared for Harry consistently and diligently to support Harry move from global developmental delays to gaining many skills within age appropriate milestone areas. For the past year, my treatment has included weekly therapy utilizing ‘Floortime’ which supports attachment building and fostering of development for Harry. When it came time to transition Harry from participating in treatment with foster parents over to participating instead with mother and father I was concerned that the biological parents may not “buy-in” to treatment and may not follow-through on all the gains acquired over the previous year. Harry’s mother began participating with Harry when the reunification process began. I have had the opportunity to witness Harry’s mother develop (& transform!) a new confidence as a parent as she has consistently participated in therapeutic treatment now for 6 months! Mother and I have had some emotional moments as she has worked through her own fears related to parenting in the process of supporting Harry with his needed interventions. Harry and mother now demonstrate warm, playful interactions and mother is able to limit set with Harry when needed. Harry has a variety of health needs, and it has taken a village to support him well. The SART program was able to support a variety of needs for Harry, such as referring Harry to a developmental optometrist and participating with Laura, our occupational therapist, at the clinic. All of us working together has allotted to a beautiful boy who is now living back with his parents, and enjoying preschool with peers! There is still room for growth, but Harry has caught up to most of his milestones, is able to run, and no longer becomes distressed when mistakes happen. Harry is a miracle to me because although he has been through such harsh circumstances, he shows the face of resilience!
I am very pleased to say that I was sent though CPS to have a counselor and help me with myself. It’s very tough to open up to people especially about my personal life, and I’m very hard headed and stubborn.
Guess What???? Not anymore!
Thanks to my wonderful counselor Francine and this beautiful staff, I have now learned to love myself more and have patience, and to let things that don’t pertain to me - go. I’ve also learned to be a better human to other and stay strong to help others with my knowledge or experience. This staff and Francine works wonders. Thanks for all of your help, it benefits me and others.
My children were taken out of my home due to a car accident and the parent that was driving was intoxicated. Alcohol was a driving force that fueled domestic violence in our home. Part of our case plan was to attend 12 weeks of domestic violence counseling. Since we have been attending our counseling sessions we have learned relationship saving skills to help us notice and avoid any time a confrontation is about to happen. I am very thankful for the counseling we have received because I truly believe it has transformed our relationship from unmanageable to getting along very well and getting to understand each other a lot better.
Part of our plan also was to attend one on one counseling as well. That coupled with the D.V. class has been extremely helpful and I truly feel that without these classes our relationship would be on the brink of destruction. I am very thankful to have learned life-changing skills to improve and help give me a better quality of life
I brought my grandson to CCS for detachment disorder. He was maving major anxiety and fear that I would forget to pick him up or be late, even though I have never not picked him up and rarely was late, and then only a few minutes. The routine was that I would arrive 15 minutes early at school and sit in front of his class door so he could see me as soon as he walked out.
Jonathan, his therapist, has been kind and patient, and fun to where my grandson looks forward to seeing him each week. Jonathan has taught him skills to use to calm and reason himself when his anxiety starts, not just for separation time, for all times my grandson is afraid or anxious about other things.
Both my grandson and I are happy that the skills he learned are working. I believe this is giving him more confidence to venture away from me more often which make us both happy. He is even letting me know that he thinks he can stop himself from having me reassure him every time we separate….like promising him every morning that I will be there to pick him up and not needing me to be in front of the classroom door after school. This is a big step as this has been going on for several years now.
How wonderful to see my grandson start to be independent again.
Thank You Jonathan and CCS for helping us.
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Patricia Carland and I am a US Navy veteran who has been diagnosed with Manic Depression (bipolar) and mild Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I get my care from the VA hospital in Loma Linda, and while I was there for psychiatric treatment one day, I read a brochure about the Equus Medendi therapy program.
I have always had a love for horses, so the idea that I could have a therapeutic experience with them was appealing and intriguing at the same time.
At my initial meeting with Ms. Angie Sheer, I was immediately set at ease by Ms. Sheer's warm and kind demeanor, as she explained the Equus Medendi program. Specifically, I was struck by the way she was able to explain how a horse is a special creature -- very in tune with the its surroundings, and especially the people in its proximity. You cannot be anything but authentic with a horse, and your energy becomes its energy.
On my second visit, I met Ms. Erin Mancha ( a CCS therapist who specializes in Equine Therapy) my wonderful therapist who joined Ms. Sheer and I to make a space where I felt safe to reveal my inner thoughts and feelings.
Of course, the ultimate success for me came from the interaction with the horses, especially "Sky," 1200 pounds of magnificent beauty, combined with a remarkable intelligence and caring personality. I have wonderful memories of the bond that he and I formed throughout my sessions -- he was so gentle, loving, and, eventually, accepting of me, as a fellow creature who had only the best intentions for him, and us.
To achieve that acceptance, I learned to calm and quiet my mind and then control my flow of energy directed toward the horse... High energy to get the horse to gallop, then lower energy to trot, then walk, then stop... and then to greet and thank the horse, who would then follow me wherever I walked.
It was an amazing feeling to be in concert with this magnificent creation. But most importantly, I now permanently have the ability to mentally and physically recall that calm, flowing energy and can put myself into that state, which has become a miraculous coping mechanism for me.
Ms. Sheer and Ms. Mancha worked together very well, and both have a calming, yet firm style of interaction. They structured my sessions as a personal treatment plan for my specific needs, with each session building on the last one.
The verbal therapy sessions and the exercises that Ms. Sheer and Ms. Mancha guided me through were tremendously effective at getting deep into my psyche, revealing my fears and bad feelings about myself, and then helping me lovingly accept myself for all the good things that I have to offer.
I have had many therapists in the past, and have tried hours of therapeutic techniques, such as Biofeedback. Although I am grateful for the treatment value intent, I must say that the Equus Medendi therapy program was the most effective therapy I have ever had... and all in less than two months time!
Thus, the Equus Medendi therapy program comes with my highest recommendation... and for Ms. Sheer and Ms. Mancha, my eternal gratitude. It was transformational... and I am happy and proud to say that "My therapist lives in a barn." One of them, anyway!
I am happy to speak with anyone who is considering Equus Medendi therapy, or to discuss further my experiences with this fantastic program.