Safe Haven Family Shelter’s Helping Hands: Play Therapy Program was a proud recipient of a Nashville Predators Foundation grant on April 20th – allowing us the opportunity to purchase toys, books, dress up costumes and play therapy furniture for our clients. Play therapy can be used to address a wide variety of issues and problems, including, but not limited to, fears and phobias, grief, trauma, behavioral issues and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. A play therapy room is an essential component when working with children, and some adults, of all ages. Therapeutic play offers a powerful tool helping our clients resolve a wide range of psychological difficulties as well as empowering the parents in short-term play therapy along with their children, as part of treatment.
Last year, Safe Haven Family shelter provided 1092 sessions and worked with 75 new clients. Of those sessions, 321 were conducted within the child’s school – offering a unique component of care involving the teacher, the school counselor, and the parent; thus, empowering the parent to become active with the child’s continuing educational needs and concerns. We served our children in 22 schools last year. Since the “school based” sessions began, we have yet had a child held back a year – quite an accomplishment when working with homeless families and their children. The children love to have their “one on one” session held at the school – and are eager to participate. Additionally, I witnessed many parents becoming involved with their child’s school when they may have not felt otherwise comfortable – consequently building a healthier attachment with their children. This is a wonderful testament to the success of our therapy program and how we are making a longitudinal difference for our families.
Safe Haven Family Shelter IS making a difference. We are enabling our clients an opportunity to seek “self health” and to break the repetitive and harmful cycles of homelessness. By allowing our clients to receive therapy in a proper environment, and with the essential tools necessary for treatment, we are assisting our clients, and empowering them, to walk a path towards a healthier emotional life.