Regrettably, bad things happen to innocent children. From physical and sexual abuse, to witnessing violence, to serious illness, injury, or loss and sadly, so much more. The long-term consequences of these life-altering incidents often define these children into adulthood. We know that those raised in violence of one kind or another often continue to proliferate violence. We know that traumatized children have trouble learning in school, struggle with depression and may have acting out behaviors that affect the course of their success in life.
The chief reason that people get stuck in these horrible negative cycles is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The general public has heard much more about PTSD in recent years. We originally attributed PTSD mostly to soldiers who witnessed atrocities in combat. But a child that is consistently abused or has experienced a life-altering atrocity of their own suffers from the exact same symptoms.
Unfortunately, PTSD is not a wound that heals with time. On the contrary, with time, it often gets worse, all but incapacitating people. If someone is literally shot, the healing of the body cannot begin until the bullet is surgically removed. The same thing is true of PTSD, which is basically an ‘emotional bullet’. Emotional healing cannot begin until that trauma is addressed.
For young people, the sooner the PTSD is addressed, the better the long-term results for life.
Fortunately, Wellspring Counseling has developed a program that has proven to be extremely successful in dealing with trauma and children. We call it Wellspring’s Bounce!
Bounce! is a unique week-long, therapeutic trauma-resolution program that offers hope. It takes time and energy to help youth to have true breakthroughs in their healing. Bounce! has accomplished that, with measurable improvements in PTSD symptoms and school performance.
The goal of Bounce! is to relieve and prevent emotional suffering, and to promote “post-traumatic growth” in traumatized children and their families.
At-risk youth, ages 9-19, who have experienced any type of trauma, from bullying to divorce to violence, are individually referred and screened for participation.
The Bounce! Intensive Program is offered by professional therapists with trauma expertise. Within a fun, camp-like environment, Bounce! provides trauma education, emotional support, individual and group trauma-specific therapy, art and equine assisted therapy, expressive, experiential, and creative learning opportunities, and other proven approaches.
This year’s first Bounce! is scheduled for March 25-29 (spring break), utilizing the youth building at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church in Palmetto Bay.
The Bounce! Program is free for most participants, sponsored through a Miami-Dade County grant and donor support.
Wellspring partners with a number of agencies for referrals, but also accepts referrals from any community member who knows of a child suffering from an unresolved tragic event. Care-givers need only call Wellspring to discuss the possibility of a youth participating in the program.
Sadly, the effect of these intense traumas will not just go away. Bounce! not only changes a child today, but changes them for years to come. We give them a vision for a positive, successful view of themselves, along with the tools to help make that happen.
Do not delay if you have or know of a child dealing with difficult circumstances. Spaces are limited. Call Wellspring today at 786-573-7010 to discuss how Bounce! might just make the difference in a child’s life.