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Dear Friends of Phoenix Center,


During the summer of 2012, the Phoenix Center was pleased to be able to meet a community need by offering high-quality parenting classes.  During June and July, parents/guardians and their children attended weekly classes at the Phoenix Center. Dinner was provided free of cost for the entire family, and a coinciding free art class (child care) was offered for children ages 4 - 18.  Read more about this exciting new program and positive feedback from families, and learn more about future parenting groups in this newsletter! 
Also in this issue, read more about our upcoming fall LIVE MUSIC BENEFIT at River City Grille!
On behalf of the deserving children and families we serve, thank you for your continued support. 
Your support makes all we do possible.  Thank you.
In this Issue:
    • SAVE THE DATE: Live Music Benefit at River City Grille
    • Free Parenting Class for Families in Need
    • Sana Vida Benefit for Phoenix Center
    • Camp Phoenix - Summer 2012
    • Wish List
    • Who We Are
liberty hallLiberty Hall - Art Room 2camp 2011 - horseback riding 
Deck Party: Live Music Benefit at River City Grille

Date: October 28, 2012
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Tickets: $25/person; business sponsorships available
Location: River City Grille, Marble Falls, Texas 


Duck Soup will perform live music before the backdrop of a legendary Texas sunset on River City Grille's expansive lower deck overlooking Lake Marble Falls. 100% of ticket proceeds will directly benefit the Phoenix Center.
Tickets will be available at the door the day of the event, or by phone at 830-613-7230. In October, we'll send a reminder email with a link to purchase tickets online via PayPal. If you'd like to learn about individual or business sponsorship opportunities at one of the following levels: $250, $500 or $1000, please call Sarah Garrett at (830)613-7230.
Your support of this fundraiser truly makes a difference.  Our fall fundraiser provides critical funds, and ensures our therapeutic services remain available for children in need.
Thank you in advance for your support.   

Free Parenting Class Offered for Local Families

Every Thursday evening for six weeks this Summer, the Phoenix Center presented a free parenting class with the help of Lindsey Humprey and Christine Cain, graduate student Interns from the University of Texas at Austin who worked at the Phoenix Center from January - July, 2012.


Sarah Garrett, Founder and Director of the Phoenix Center, says she "started the group after seeing an overwhelming need" for this service first as a CASA volunteer and later as a Children's Therapist at the Phoenix Center who works with victims of abuse and neglect. 

"It is our goal at the Phoenix Center to not just serve the child, but to impact and strengthen the whole family system, improve positive parenting skills and help to end the cycle of child abuse and neglect."

Parents described the first session of the parenting class at the Phoenix Center as "refreshing, social, excellent, helpful, connected, supportive, and open." 12 parents and guardians attended the parenting class and 15 of their children attended the coinciding art class.  Garrett added that it was necessary to close the class and create a waiting list for a future class because of the overwhelming number of families interested in parenting support.

The objective of the first class was to get to know the parents, understand their concerns, and highlight their individual strengths.  Lindsey Humprey, one of the parenting group facilitators, said "It was so encouraging to see parents with different backgrounds and perspectives connect. There was a willingness to learn and try new techniques."

Here is some of the written feedback Garrett received about what parents learned and how they felt about the group:

*      "We are not alone and help is out there!"

*      "I really enjoyed connecting with other parents. It was nice to feel 'not alone' in the    


*      "I learned that my situation is not uncommon and we can move forward."

*      "I really like the dynamics of the group!"

*      "While we are different, we have a lot of the same similarities."

The Parenting Skills Group curriculum covered child development, family communication, promoting positive behaviors, appropriate/positive discipline, self-care for parents, and problem-solving. 

If you would like more information about future parenting classes, please call (830)613-7230.


Sana Vida Yoga Class Supports Phoenix Center


Sana Vida ( offered a by-donation yoga mala class this summer. Donations supported the Phoenix Center with $259 raised. Thanks to Connie Mendoza and Kathrine Parks for leading this class, and thanks to Patti McCormick for her on-going support of our mission.





A Look at Therapies Utilized at Camp Phoenix


Art, yoga, equine, and outdoor therapies provide children with a developmentally appropriate means to express and process emotions non-verbally, promoting healing and empowerment. The documented benefits of these therapies include decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression and increased self-esteem and coping skills. Each of these therapies help youth express and process their thoughts and emotions, overcome fears, build trust, and increase feelings of self-worth. 


Camp Phoenix --the Phoenix Center's therapeutic summer camp-- utilizes these four types of therapy to promote mental and physical health in the participating children. 


For teens in particular, our programming provides a safe and welcoming place to go during the summer and on weekends, times when youth are most vulnerable to crime and unsafe behavior. In all of our programs, children and teens are taught to navigate and express challenging emotions in healthy, safe ways and focus on positive and forward-looking goals in school and in life.


Camp Phoenix sessions are directed by licensed therapists, staffed by masters level social work and counseling Interns, and utilize evidence-based therapies in order to provide campers with the best opportunities for learning and growth. Below is an overview of the research and benefits of the interventions and modalities that comprise our innovative therapeutic camp curriculum.


  • Trauma-Informed Care: Trauma affects emotional and cognitive development and physically alters the brain. Children often cannot process trauma verbally because their language skills are still developing.  Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Art Therapy, and animal-assisted therapies (equine therapy) stimulate both hemispheres of the brain, which allow children to process traumatic experiences, stimulate positive emotions and behaviors, and form new neural pathways.[1]
  • Art Therapy utilizes a variety of fine art materials, allowing youth to express and process their thoughts and feelings in an age appropriate manner.[4]
  • Yoga teaches children how to focus on and control their breathing and thoughts, which decreases the release of cortisol (the stress hormone), while increasing both focus and relaxation.  Research has demonstrated decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression after yoga practice on MRI brain scans (Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, May 2007).[5],[6]
  • Equine Therapy promotes confidence and self-esteem while learning the importance of boundaries, body language, and communication.[7] 
  • Outdoor Therapy combines the restorative power of nature with ropes challenge course activities and experiential therapies, which promote healthy communication, team work, overcoming personal fears and obstacles and increasing self-esteem and self-efficacy.[8]


[1] Stien, P.T., & Kendall, J. (2004). Psychological trauma and the developing brain: Neurologically based interventions for troubled children. New York: Haworth Press

[2] Amster, F. (1982).  Differential issues of play in treatment of young children. In G.L. Landreth (Ed.), Play therapy: Dynamics of the process of counseling with children. pp. 33-44.  Springfield, IL: Thomas.

[3] Ciottone, R.A. & Madonna, J.M. (1996).  Play therapy with sexually abused children: A synergistic clinical-developmental approach. Northvale, NJ: Aronson.

[4]Rubin, J. (1984).  Approaches to art therapy: Theory and technique.  New York: Brunner/Mazel.

[5] Khalsa, S.B. (2004). Yoga as a therapeutic intervention: A bibliometric analysis of published research studies. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 4(3), 269-85.

[6] Pilkington K, et al. (2005). Yoga for depression: the research evidence. Journal of Affective Disorders, 89(1-3), 13-24.

[7] Ewing, C.A., MacDonald, P.M., Taylor, M., Bowers, M.J. (2007). Equine-facilitated learning for youths with severe emotional disorders: A quantitative and qualitative study. 36(1).

[8]Nassar-McMillan, S., & Cashwell, C. (1997). Building self-esteem of children and adolescents through adventure-based counseling. Journal of Humanistic Education & Development, 36(2), 59.


Campers wearing masks created during an

art therapy group, Camp Phoenix 2012


About Art Therapy


The masks shown here were created during Camp Phoenix sessions during the summer of 2012 during an art therapy group.  Masks typically portray one of the following:


1) The "mask" worn in daily life, the part of yourself you show the outside world;


2) The interior (reverse side of the mask) - how you feel on the inside, the part of yourself not shown often or at all to the outside world;


3) Or, one half of the mask depicts how you truly feel on the inside and the other half is the mask you wear in everyday life.



On the left - how camper feels on the inside

On the right - "mask" camper wears in the outside world


Ready for the high ropes challenge course (2012)!



Wish List

  • Children's sized table and chairs (gently used or new):
  • Journals (blank, unlined) or sketchbooks for children in counseling to use at home
  • Relaxation music CDs (Sound Healing by Steven Halpern) for children in counseling to use at home
  • Healthy snacks for our therapeutic after school programs
  • Fund a need online:

$5 donation - provides art materials  

$10 donation - provides healthy snacks  

$30 donation - provides 3 yoga mats   

$100 - Sponsor our play therapy or counseling services  

$500 - Sponsor 1 therapeutic camp session 


To help fund a need above, please click here.  Donations in any amount are needed and greatly appreciated.  Thank you for partnering with us to ensure that our services are available at no cost to children and families in need.  If you have donated recently, we appreciate your continued and generous support.  Thank you.


For more information about our wish list items, please call Sarah at 830.613.7230.


holiday party - 4 yr old zip line 


To believe in a child is to believe in the future. 
 Supply the children

with the tools and knowledge

 to overcome their obstacles. 
 Impact in each child the desire to fulfill his or her dream.

 ~Henry James



 "I wish I could live here."

~child served by the Phoenix Center

 Who We Are         

art classyoga - peyton



Our Services

Phoenix Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to meeting the need for high quality mental health care in rural Central Texas.    


We provide free of cost:

  • Phoenix Counseling Services: psychotherapy and counseling for families and parent/guardians and play therapy for children 
  • Phoenix After School: therapeutic after-school programs offering yoga and art therapy groups 
  • Camp Phoenix: therapeutic camp sessions at Candlelight Ranch, including equine therapy, adventure/wilderness therapy, art therapy, and yoga/wellness programs

Who is a Phoenix Center Child?

Children and teens ages 4 - 18 with identified mental health needs.  Children we serve are often uninsured, underinsured or are otherwise unable to access high quality mental health services.  


Our Collaborating agencies include:  CASA for the Highland Lakes Area, Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center, Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Highland Lakes.  In addition, youth are referred to our programs by public school counselors and families.


Our Staff include licensed mental health professionals, graduate student counseling and social work Interns from the UT Austin School of Social Work and Texas State University, and registered yoga teachers. 


Sarah Rosen Garrett, LMSW
Executive Director
Post Office Box 732
Marble Falls, Texas 78654
Our mission is to promote the physical and mental well-being of youth in Central Texas.
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