The child who drew this figure was one of my first clients--a sad-eyed, tearful, bright 5 year old who looked at me and asked, "Dr. Susan, why would someone want to kill someone?"
The child had witnessed violence against a loved one -- an attempted murder -- and was trying to understand it. I thought a moment. Then I said, "I'd like you to draw a heart." The child did. Then I said, "Now, I'd like you to think of it as your heart and draw how much love you have inside."
The child colored in the whole heart red.
"Now," I said, "I'd like you to draw another heart and this time it will be the heart of someone who hurts pets. Color it in with the amount of love that person would have." The child thought a minute and drew the heart filled with much less red.
"And this time," I said, "draw another heart. Inside this heart put how much love would be in the heart of someone who would try to kill someone [who loves them]." The child drew very little.
"How does someone get more love in their heart?" the child asked. And that began the beginning of our work together, a chapter of which is included in my workbook Children Are Treasures: A Workbook for Strengthening Self-Esteem in Children Ages 5-12.
Since Team Velvet Inc. was founded in 2009, we have helped children transcend profound traumatic loss of many different forms. Our clinical horse therapy involves a multi-modal, non-mounted psychology model custom designed to heal sadness and loss and strengthen individual resiliency and understanding. The horses provide a source of amazing love and psychology provides the art and science of emotional healing.
Our Board of Directors is composed of three psychologists [Tom Ferguson,PhD,MBA; Jennifer WestGavin, PsyD, Neuropsychologist, and Susan Edwards, PhD] and one PhD Researcher [Kathy Piparo, PhD.], all of whom support the work of our charity to provide services to trauma children ages 5-12 without fee -- FREE.
In order to do this, we need to establish sustainability which comes from grants and donations. As all of our staff are volunteers, no one is paid -- not even the psychologists. A child's therapy may take a year or more and progress is measured based on the goals identified by the family who accompanies the child working with the psychologist, therapy horse, and sometimes involves a peer helper or horse handler. We have helped children as young as eight who, after experiencing profound trauma, wanted to die. Trauma involves intense emotional pain and loss.
Involved in this treatment process are three specially-trained
therapy horses, each offering a different healing gift. We have also
custom developed materials to help kids -- a coloring book about
the death of a father, a self-esteem workbook, four videos which
have won national awards, and a current project to establish a
child mental health legacy by having a farm donated to our
charity and a website with horse-narrated videos for helping
children learn to help themselves.
We are very grateful for donations of any amount which are used
to fund this important mental health work for children. This year, as
part of our Christmas in July Fund Drive, we striving to establish a NETWORK of ANGEL BENEFACTORS to help us establish ongoing sustainability. Angel Benefactors are individuals who donate $3,000 to help us sustain these special services for a most vulnerable population.
Child trauma can affect any child and has no racial, ethnic or social status boundaries. Team Velvet Inc. is very appreciative of all gifts.
Please share our fund drive information with another special person who may wish to give a gift to help us help kids live happy.
Susan Edwards PhD
President of the Board
Click the button below if you would like to donate here or via mail to Team Velvet Inc., PO 268, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553. All donations to our charity are tax deductible.
All contributions help.