Dear Friends of Phoenix Center,
We are nearing the end of a very busy and encouraging summer! This summer, 114 campers attended Camp Phoenix's 8 camp sessions and campers displayed tremendous growth. Read more in our positive camp outcomes story below! Additionally this summer the Phoenix Center, in collaboration with the Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center, hosted a two month summer parenting workshop -Caring for Children who have Experienced Trauma - for 22 parents with coinciding therapy groups for the parent's 23 children every Thursday evening during June and July. The parent feedback quotes below speak to the positive impact of this program.
"This is a a very good program for all of us. We learn and grow.
Not only does it help us in our present problems,
it will help us with whatever comes our way when traumatic stress presents."
"Thank you for your time and energy.
Please bring this into the public schools and churches!"
As we look forward to the fall, we are continuing to see a ever-increasing demand for affordable, high-quality mental health services in rural Central Texas. We are excited to be at the forefront of the work in our area to provide evidence-based, trauma-informed care for children who have experienced trauma and other mental health disorders. As the Phoenix Center continues to expand our services to meet the growing need, we greatly appreciate your generosity and support.
Through your ongoing support, in September, our Children's Therapist position will expand from a part-time to a full-time position enabling more children to receive therapy services. To help support our growth, we have made donating even easier. Donate online by clicking the button below, which will take you to a secure website ensuring safe transactions. Options to give now include a one-time gift, a monthly, quarterly, or annually recurring gift, and a memory or dedication gift. Individual donors - like you - fund the majority of our critical services for children in need.
On behalf of the deserving children and families we serve, thank you for your continued support. Your support makes our programs possible. Thank you.
In this Issue:
Check out our new and improved website by visiting www.phoenixcentertexas.org!
This summer, campers during Camp Phoenix had the unique opportunity to develop trust and growth through relationships with insightful animals who have lived alongside humans for thousands of years.
This summer, Phoenix Center collaborated with Spirit Reins to expand equine therapy activities during our camps. This collaboration provided an opportunity for campers to learn how to build healthy relationships.
For each overnight camp session, horses from Spirit Reins were transported to camp to be participants of Camp Phoenix. Campers had the opportunity to experience Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and begin 'Relationship Work' with the horse of their choice.
EAP is an experiential form of counseling that utilizes horses as an integral part of the therapeutic process. Horses are prey animals who are aware of and respond honestly to everything that is happening in the present moment - keeping their safety and security as the top priority at all times. It is the horse's honesty that is an integral part of therapy and the relationship between human and horse. For example, horses sense the sincerity and emotional state of the human trying to form a relationship with them.
Through the use of the EAP model, campers learned how healthy relationships can be established and built upon. The way a horse thinks and interacts helps children and adolescents in their relationships with people. Do they allow the horse to make choices for them? Do they make choices for the horse? Do they work together? Since horses offer instant feedback, children's relationship work with the horse often leads to discussions of human relationships as the dynamics are often the same. For example, becoming angry or shutting down when challenges arise within the human-horse relationship - and overcoming these challenges through practicing new relationship skills - allows children to make connections to relationships with important people in their lives. After a session with her horse, one camper said "Now I know how my grandmother feels."
Working with an animal that weighs, 800 to 1200 pounds also helps children and adolescents build confidence and self-esteem.
"It was so neat for the horse follow me... It was like leading with an invisible rope!"
"I had never been so close to a horse before.
It was neat to get to work with them."
"They're really big but they want to be our friends."
"The Horse and His Girl"
A Heartwarming True Story
Written by a Camp Phoenix Camper
"I had never been to a camp before so I was not sure what to expect. On the first night we had the opportunity to meet the horses and choose which horse we were going to work with. I chose Cricket because I noticed he was not the easiest horse to work with and was very sensitive.
When Cricket ignored me, I became discouraged. But as the weekend progressed I learned his moods and how to get his attention. Eventually I got Cricket to follow me. He had sticker burrs tangled in his mane... I realized that when you don't have someone to take care of you for a long time, it can hurt. It takes time to begin to trust someone enough to help get the sticker burrs out. We spent time getting to know each other and building a healthy relationship. Eventually on Sunday morning, I felt I trusted Cricket and Cricket trusted me enough to climb on his back. As we walked together, it seemed like we were both checking in with each other to make sure the other was okay. It began to feel like we were dancing. I slowly put my arms out to my side and felt like I was flying.
The entire time I was on him it was amazing. There is nothing else like it in the whole world."
"Caring for Children who have Experienced Trauma" Parenting Workshop
This summer, the Phoenix Center and Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center collaborated to present a 7-week workshop: Caring for Children who have experienced Trauma. The free of cost workshop educated parents and guardians about the developmental and behavioral effects of trauma on children.
Trinity Episcopal Church provided free of cost meeting space, childcare, volunteers and several donated meals for workshop participants. A family-style dinner was provided weekly to all parents and children participating in the workshop. Meals were donated by members of Trinity Episcopal Church and members of the community.
The workshop Caring for Children who have experienced Trauma's curriculum was developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and adapted by Susan Kulbeth, LMSW, who is the Program and Clinical Services Director at the H.C.C.A.C.
The goals of the workshop were for parents and guardians to learn how to:
- Recognize the impact trauma has had on their child
- Improve their child's behavior
- Respond appropriately to the behavioral and emotional challenges that are a result of the trauma the child experienced
- Help their child develop the coping strategies needed to grow into a healthy adult
- Become a more effective and satisfied parent or guardian
- Reduce the risk of the parent's own compassion fatigue
Roughly 26% of children witness or experience a traumatic event by the age of 4. Research shows that traumatic events can negatively impact a child's development and daily functioning. A research study from the Center of Disease Control found that traumatic events are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life. Today's children and adolescents experience a multitude of traumatic events including abuse, domestic violence, school violence, severe bullying, traumatic grief and deaths, terrorism and natural disasters.
In addition to receiving two hours of instruction, tools and guidance every Thursday evening, families were invited to bring their children weekly as well. Free of cost childcare was provided during the workshop that included structured, age-appropriate activities to help elementary, middle and high school aged children develop and practice healthy coping skills. Nursery childcare was also provided for children under the age of 5.
The Phoenix Center and H.C.C.A.C. were delighted with the high participation. 49 parents and children participated in Caring for Children who have experienced Trauma workshops. Parents and guardians interested in attending the Fall 2013 workshop can call Sarah Garrett at the Phoenix Center at 830-637-7848 for more information.
"Thank you for giving me the vocabulary and frame of reference to better discuss trauma in my children's lives."
"This is a a very good program for all of us. We learn and grow. Not only does it help us in our present problems, it will help us with whatever comes our way when traumatic stress presents."
"Thank you for your time and energy. Please bring this into the public schools and churches!"
Camp Phoenix 2013: Positive Outcomes
114 children attended Camp Phoenix this summer, even more than last year! We greatly appreciated the 13 mental-health professionals who volunteered their time to help provide our innovative therapeutic camps. We are also thankful for all who helped make Camp Phoenix possible. We are proud to report tremendous growth in the campers who attend our therapeutic camp sessions!
Surveys from the overnight camps indicated...
Increased self-esteem based on an average of a 3-point increase on a 40-point measurement scale in one overnight camp!
- 100% of campers reported there is an adult they can trust and talk to at Camp Phoenix.
- 100% of campers reported they now know how to journal to express themselves.
- 100% of campers reported they now know how to take deep breaths to feel better.
- 100% of campers reported that Camp Phoenix helped them make friends.
- 97% of campers reported that they feel more confident about themselves after attending Camp Phoenix.
- 90.3% of campers reported that they now know how to create art to feel better when they are sad, worried or angry.
"Camp helped me feel better about me, get rid of my negativity and get close to others. I learned things to keep me going 'when life gives you lemons.' I also learned to be a lot more positive."
"Camp helped me express myself. I learned that there are people I can talk to if I ever feel alone in life."
"At camp I realized how the little things affect me and deal with my struggles. I learned that team work can get you through seas of sharks."
"I can now say that I am confident, creative, and courageous!"
"Since camp, she continues to utilize calming techniques and diverts herself from a complete meltdown."
"She learned calming skills and worked on getting along with others."
"Being able to go to camp made her feel special and as lucky as others.... Spending time with other children and the horses was a real benefit. "
Phoenix Center "Hope Tree"
Throughout the summer, children added their handprints and hopes to the Phoenix Center Hope Tree. It is an inspiration and a reminder to never give up on your hopes and dreams.
"My hope is to stay in school."
"My hope is to help all the people without homes and without a lot of money." - Age 11
"I hope to be adopted and have a family who loves me."
"I hope the Phoenix Center lasts forever."
"My hope is for floating cars."
"I hope I get to come back every year."
"I hope my mom and dad get along." - Age 5
"My hope is for money for food and clothes."
"I hope to be a doctor because doctors inspire me." - Age 10
"My hope is to play with my family."
"My hope is for a doggy."
"I hope to live in the rainforest."
"My hope is to be a teacher."
"My hope is to go home with my mom."
"I hope to have a farm and horses." - age 9
"My hope is to be a model or doctor or fire-woman."
"My hope is to be rich so I don't have to worry about anything."
"I hope to be an animal rescuer when I grow up." - Age 9
"My hope is to pay bills and have a security system to keep my family safe."
- Age 10
Family Fun & Relaxation
Blowing bubbles is not only fun and relaxing, research shows that it helps provide brain stimulation needed for childhood development. Blowing bubbles teaches deep and controlled breathing as well as develops hand-eye coordination by blowing, catching, and popping. Fun activities foster the child-parent relationship. Make your own bubbles and bubble wands to
increase creativity and fun!
Giant Bubble Recipe
6 cups water
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups Joy dishwashing soap (or use 1 1/3 cups of other concentrated dishwashing liquid)
In a large bowl, slowly mix all ingredients together
Farewell Phoenix Center Interns
Since January, three graduate student Clinical Social Work interns from University of Texas have been indispensable members of the Phoenix Center team. Interns have provided nearly 200 hours of counseling services in addition to assisting with Phoenix After-School, Phoenix Parenting, and Camp Phoenix. We are grateful for all their time, dedication, talent and passion. We wish them well in their future journeys nationwide. One of the interns, Gabby Rivette will continue volunteering 6 hours weekly. Phoenix Center will continue to accept graduate student interns in order to provide affordable, high-quality mental-health services for children and families in need in rural Central Texas.
"My journey as an intern at the Phoenix Center is one that I will never forget. It was magical. It exemplified the importance of working with children and families and inspired me to become a better therapist. I could not have asked for a better place to spend my last months of school learning." - Brady Polana
Duck Soup at River City Grille
October 6, 2013 6 - 9 pm
Come support Phoenix Center while enjoying live music by Duck Soup on River City Grille's
expansive lower deck overlooking Marble Falls. Gates open at 5 p.m. Buy a ticket securely online by clicking here
Phoenix Fun Run
October 20, 2013 11:30 A.M.
1 Mile Walk or Run - Families Welcome
The inaugural Hill Country Marathon will take place in Marble Falls, TX on Sunday, October 20, 2013. The Hill Country Marathon will consist of a full marathon on an out and back course and will also offer half marathon and 10k options. The course is challenging but enjoyable and is set among the scenic rolling hills and country roads that embody the heart of the Hill Country. The start/finish will be at the Marble Falls High School Stadium. The Hill Country Marathon course is designed to engage the runner's desire for challenge but will also be an enjoyable and remarkably beautiful experience. Along the picturesque and lushly lined country roads, runners will find well stocked aid stations at regular intervals and clear course markings.
Designed to be a family friendly event, there will be plenty for runners' families and friends to do at the Hill Country Marathon. While runners are on the course, spectators can enjoy exploring the unique craftsmanship and artwork on display and fore sale at a fair that will be in the parking lot of the stadium. Concessions from local food vendors will also be available.
There will also be a kids race, the Phoenix Kids 1-Mile Fun Run
. The Phoenix Center will be hosting the Phoenix Fun Run for kids and Families at 11:30am. To register for the Phoenix Center Fun Run, please visit www.runthehillcountry.com.
Ways You Can Help
$25 pays for healthy snacks for children in our after-school programs
$50 pays for 5 new yoga mats for our after-school yoga program
$100 pays the full cost of one therapy session for 1 child in need
$200 pays for 1 day-long therapeutic camp session
$500 pays for a three day overnight therapeutic camp session for 1 child in need
$1,000 provides therapy sessions for 10 children in need
Donate online by clicking the DONATE NOW
button. This is a secure website that ensures safe
transactions. Options to give include a one-time,
monthly, quarterly, or annual gift as well as a
memory or dedication gift.
MAIL A DONATION
P.O Box 732
Marble Falls, TX 78654
(Click for more info)
GIVE FROM OUR WISHLIST
Blank sketchbooks and journals for children
Essential Oils for Yoga/Relaxation
Scrapbook paper: 12x12 square - solid colors
Clay: Self-drying, Crayola or Sculpie brand
Healthy snacks for Phoenix After-School
(apples, bananas, popcorn, pretzels, dried fruit)
New/gently used kid-friendly couch and/or chairs
Large puppet theater for our play therapy room
Acrylic paint (various colors)
Art canvases or canvas boards (assorted sizes)
Washable tempura or finger paint
Crayola markers, crayons, and colored pencils
Please contact Sarah for more details about our
wish-list items at 830.613.7230.
Consider donating your used
car, truck, van, motorcycle,
boat, RV, trailer, airplane or
ATV to the Phoenix Center.
It's a tax-deductible donation, and we'll take care of
everything, including pick up.
for complete details. Call
877-537-5277 to get started!
Who We Are
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.
Our innovative and evidence-based treatment model focuses on the health of the whole child, the critical connection between mental and physical health and the importance of preventative care. Through evidence-based therapies, children learn how to process the trauma of abuse, express their emotions in healthy ways, and self-regulate by using techniques to calm down, relax, and focus. Our programs are available to all youth and their families because we believe socioeconomic boundaries should not interfere with a child's health and well-being.
Phoenix Counseling: Individual and Group Therapy for children, parents & families; Play Therapy for young children;
Phoenix Parenting: Trauma-Informed Care; Child Parent Relationship Therapy & Parenting Classes
Phoenix After School: Therapeutic after-school programs, art therapy and yoga to teach kids relaxation and stress and anger management skills;
Camp Phoenix: Therapeutic camp sessions at Candlelight Ranch, including equine therapy and adventure/wilderness therapy - our own innovative therapeutic camp curriculum.
Who is a Phoenix Center Child?
Children and teens ages 3 - 18 with an identified mental health need, including survivors of abuse and trauma. The children we serve are often uninsured, under-insured or are otherwise unable to access high-quality mental health services.
Our Collaborating Agencies
Phoenix Center staff include licensed mental health professionals and graduate student counseling and social work Interns from the UT Austin School of Social Work and Texas State University.
Members include J. Allan Garrett, Terry Gulden, Harry Born, Lindsay Plante, Patti McCormick, Molly Biglari, Elizabeth Turner, Courtney Bowen & Sarah Garrett.
Connect with Phoenix Center!
Sarah Rosen Garrett, LCSW
Founder, Executive Director
Post Office Box 732
Marble Falls, Texas 78654
Our mission is to provide high-quality mental health services to children and families in need in rural Central Texas.