Dear Friends of Phoenix Center, 

During this season of beautiful spring weather and Texas wildflowers in full bloom, the Phoenix Center is growing as well, thanks to the compassion and generosity of our donors. 

Our recent Roaring 20's Gala raised $67,000 to directly fund critical mental health services for deserving children in need.  Thank you to all who attended and supported this important fundraiser.

Thank you as well to Dena Wenmohs & the Bunkhouse artists.  We greatly appreciate being selected as the non-profit to benefit from the auction and raffle held during the Bunkhouse's spring fine art exhibition.   

Another exciting art event is on the horizon for July 2014 - a children's art exhibit to be held at Marta Stafford Fine Art in Marble Falls.  Read more about this innovative project below. 


The Phoenix Center's growth and ability to meet the increasing demand for high-quality mental health programs for children in need, such as victims of abuse, has only been possible through your generous support. 


We are grateful for all that you have made possible.  Thank you.  


"Thank you.  This has completely changed our lives.
The more I learn, the calmer I get at home.
I used to get really angry or completely numb or uncaring.  
I would yell all the time and the kids would too.
I felt out of control and overwhelmed.
This is helping me learn to be a loving mom and talk and play with my kids.  We can go out in public now and spend time together. 
Everyone has noticed a huge difference in our family.
Thank you for spending so much time and energy.  
No one else has given us tools like this.
I am not perfect and have a long way to go, but I can't wait.
I feel calmer, more patient and 
more in control of myself than I have ever felt."
-Parent attending the Child Parent Relationship Therapy Group
In this Issue:
We are looking forward to our 9 therapeutic camps planned for Summer 2014
Lindsey's Face Painting Masterpiece Children's Day 2014
Phoenix After School Group  


When seven year-old Ryan first entered the play therapy room, he was noticeably fearful and anxious, withdrawn into the corner of the room. He did not make eye contact or speak. In fact, he did not speak or look at his therapist for 7 weeks.  


Ryan began play therapy services due to a history of trauma, abuse and neglect. He coped by dissociating and withdrawing from the world, sleeping most of the day at home. His teacher reported that he was explosive and mute; he also could not recognize letters or read.


His therapist remained gentle and patient. Through play therapy, Ryan was able to act out and process the trauma he had experienced. Over a period of six months, he was able to regain a sense of control and self-efficacy in his life.


Ryan also attends the Phoenix Center's after school program for young children. The first few weeks, he aimlessly played with clay, making nothing, not speaking or making eye contact; he seemed zoned out. 


In the after school program today, young Ryan proudly shows off his artwork with a grin and sparkles in his eyes.  He engages with children and adults at the Phoenix Center as well as at home and school.


When his therapist entered the waiting room to greet Ryan after 6 months of weekly sessions, she found him copying a quote onto the chalkboard.  Obviously very pleased with himself, he read aloud...


"Everyone is born with the desire to fly."

This true story of Ryan's tremendous progress illustrates the growth and healing that is possible after abuse and trauma. His progress is evidence of the significant impact of high-quality mental health services for children and families. For example, he attends Phoenix Center services twice a week (and will attend day and overnight therapeutic camps this summer) all at no cost to his grandmother. Because Ryan's family is uninsured, there is nowhere else in the community where he could access intensive bi-weekly mental health services at no cost. 


When a child like Ryan is unable to access mental health care in childhood, there are often great costs and risks to the child, family and society down the road. The child is more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs as a teen to self-medicate their unresolved history of trauma.  Not receiving adequate mental health care is also correlated with increased violence, substance abuse, and health care and criminal justice costs for society.


But there is hope, research shows that high-quality mental health care and just one caring adult can change the trajectory of a child's life forever. 


Right now, there are many other deserving kids like young Ryan in our community and over 33 children on our waiting list.  This spring, we ask that you consider a recurring monthly gift to help support ongoing care for children in need. Through our secure website, you can now sign-up to make a tax-deductible, recurring monthly donation that fits within your family's budget - Just $10 dollars a month makes a huge difference. If 25 people commit to $10 a month, that is an additional $3,000 in support of children who have critical mental health care needs.


Thank you for your continued support so we can continue to grow and help more deserving, talented children in need. 




Roaring 20's Gala - A Huge Success! 


Guests entered the Roaring 20's on March 29th to raise critical funds for the children of the Phoenix Center. 


The Phoenix Center worked hard to get the event costs donated so all funds raised will go directly to children, not to bands or vendors.  


We are thankful that the band fee, 100% of all food and beverages, the stage, all decorations, and other supplies for the Gala - even the ice, cups and napkins - were ALL donated by generous businesses and Board and Advisory Board Members.  


A special thank you to Patia Strickland, The Linda and Jerry Strickland Family Foundation, Michael and Cheryl Foster, Phoenix Center board members and volunteers.


A heartfelt thank you as well to the generous sponsors and food, beverage and auction donors.  We greatly appreciate your continued and generous support. 



American Bank of Texas, N.A.

Anonymous Friends of the Phoenix Center

Galloway Insurance

Grand Bank of Texas

Granite Wealth Management  

The Highlander

Johnson Sewell Ford Lincoln

The Linda and Jerry Strickland Family Foundation

Michael & Cheryl Foster

Northstar Bank of Texas

Robert Ruff

Service Title Company

The Picayune & KBEY

Dr. Deborah Voorhees & Dr. George Richardson



Balcones Distillery

Bill & Janey Rives

Blue Bonnet Café        

Double Horn Brewing Company

Dripping Springs Vodka


Granite Wealth Management


John & Belinda Kemper         

Phoenix Center Board Members

River City Grille      



 Backbone Valley Nursery & Landscaping

      Bella Medical Spa

      Blue Bonnet Café

      Brad Offutt

      Brandon Arrington

      Cheryl Westerman - Sculptmoves

      Copperhead Creek Shooting Club

      Courtney Bowen - Matilda Jane Clothing

      Curtis Knetsch

      Elizabeth Rayne, DDS

      Felicia Peterson - Jewel Kade Jewelry

      Heather Lehmberg

      Hidden Falls Adventure Park

      Kendra Scott Jewelry

      Lisa Lyons

      Liz Turner

      Mike and Annie Blakely

      Mike Bruner & Outdoor West Texas

      Out Back Party Rentals

      Patti Raso

      Richard Hess

      Sana Vida Wellness Spa & Tea Bar

      Sharon Truman

      Smartie Pantz

      Strictly Sweets

      Tito's Vodka

      T & Co Salon

      Woody Eastman


Thank you to all for your generosity and continued support.

Data from Spring Parenting Classes 


This Spring, we successfully wrapped up two wonderful parenting groups: 

Child-Parent Relationship Training (CPR-T) & Caring for Children who have Experienced Trauma, which is offered in collaboration with the Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center. 


Below, parents reflect on their experiences:


"This class has truly helped me to be more aware of what is beneath the surface in my son's mind, heart & soul." - Parent


"Reflective listening means that I really listen..." - Parent


This "opened up a whole pattern of 'I've got time.'" - Parent


"I have learned so much concerning trauma and children.  It made me rethink how to be a better caregiver." - Parent

The parenting group: Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPR-T) was offered by the Phoenix Center for 10 weeks this Spring.  CPR-T (also called Filial Therapy) is a research-based 10-week parenting class that teaches parents how to use some of the same therapeutic skills that therapists use to help children experiencing social, emotional or behavioral problems.  
The Phoenix Center collected data to measure the effectiveness of our CPR-T program. All parents were given a pre- and post-test using the Filial Problems Checklist. The Filial Problems Checklist is a self-report instrument consisting of 108 potentially problematic situations related to parenting and children's behavior. Parents are instructed to consider each situation and to rate ones that are a problem on a scale of: (1) the situation exists but is not considered a problem; (2) the situation is considered to be a moderate problem; or (3) the situation is a severe problem.


Given the pre-test and post-test data, parents who attended the Phoenix Center's Child Parent Relationship Therapy group experienced a 24 - 80% improvement in the problematic behaviors of their child of focus after 10 weeks.  

The significance of the improved scores on the post-test may be a result of the new parenting and therapeutic skills learned, increased confidence as a parent and a more accepting and positive view of the child.  Most importantly, the data reflects the parents' perception of positive changes in the behavior of their child and their family's overall well-being and quality of life.  


We will never know the ripple effects of these positive changes.  Our goal is that it will decrease abuse and conflict in future generations as families are more supported and have better tools to navigate the many challenges of parenting.   




The Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center & Phoenix Center collaborated to present a two month workshop: Caring for Children who have Experienced Trauma hosted by Trinity Episcopal Church. The free of cost workshop educates parents and guardians about the developmental and behavioral effects of trauma, such as abuse, and how parents/guardians can best support and help their children.


Trinity Episcopal Church partnered for the second time with the two non-profits to provide free of cost meeting space, childcare, volunteers and donated meals for workshop participants.  A family-style dinner was provided weekly to all parents and children participating in the workshop.  Meals were generously donated by members of Trinity Episcopal Church.

Trinity Episcopal Church has partnered with the Phoenix Center and The Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center to host summer and spring classes which have served over 75 children and adults.  We are grateful to Trinity Episcopal Church for making this valuable service possible.

Summer Groups & Events 


Art by a 9 year-old child in our after school program

Children's Art Exhibit

Marta Stafford Fine Art

Reception July 23, 2014 from 6-8 pm 


The Phoenix Center received a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts to plan a public exhibit of art therapy works from the Phoenix Center.  


The exhibit will be held at Marta Stafford Fine Art in Marble Falls and will be open to the public July 22 - 23, with a reception from 6 - 8 pm on July 23, 2014. The theme of the exhibit is the use of mandalas in art therapy with works created by children ages 4 - 17.  


In addition to viewing the children's art, visitors will enjoy the juxtaposition of several local Hill Country artists who will create art in response to the same theme as the children.  The exhibit will also seek to educate the public about the benefits of the arts and art therapy in improving mental health, in particular in children who have experienced trauma.


We hope that you will save the date and attend the show to show your support and view the talents of the many children of the Phoenix Center.  


Thank you to Marta Stafford, Marta Stafford Fine Art & The Texas Commission on the Arts for their generous support of this project.   


Texas Commission on the Arts 


Summer Parenting Workshops 


Child Parent Relationship Therapy - Summer Group

CPR-T, also called Filial Therapy, is a research-based, 10-week parenting group that teaches parents of 3 - 9 year-old children how to use some of the same skills play therapists use to help children experiencing social, emotional, or behavioral problems. Another CPR-T group will be offered at the Phoenix Center on Wednesdays, beginning May 28th during the summer of 2014. The group is free of cost and sign-up is beginning now.  Please call or email the Phoenix Center to register at

Camp Phoenix 2014


Sign-up has also begun for Camp Phoenix 2014 sessions.  All of our therapeutic camp sessions are free of cost & are staffed entirely by mental health professionals and masters level Interns offering a ratio of 1 adult to every 2 campers.   Children make tremendous progress through equine therapy and our innovative therapeutic camp curriculum.  For the 2014 camp dates and a camp application, please visit our website or click here.


Quotes from Phoenix Center Children

Inspiring words from one of the teens attending therapy sessions 
our after school program for teen girls:
"Without the Phoenix Center, I don't know where I would be today,
probably just stuck in my own head and my own trauma.
Since coming to the Phoenix Center, I don't feel so heavy and tied down.
I feel released.
I still think about it at times, but I'm free to move forward.
I am moving forward!
I am a better me and see things in a whole new way.
I feel understood and encouraged and insightful, and 
like maybe, one day
I can make a difference."

- Age 16, written Feb. 2014


Expanded Space for the Phoenix Center


liberty hall
Our beautiful home away from home
Beginning in April 2014, the Phoenix Center is expanding to an additional first floor office space in our beautiful location in the historic Liberty Hall home - built in 1887 by General Adam Rankin Johnson who was the founder of Marble Falls. 
Liberty Hall was Gen. Johnson's home for many years and the land goes back to Capt. Baker who died at the Alamo.  
Liberty Hall was also the home of the first woman mayor in the United States - "Birdie" Harwood, elected in Marble Falls in 1917 before women had the right to vote.   
We are grateful for John and Belinda Kemper's generosity and support.

"How can I help my child calm down?"

The Calm Down Jar: 

A Helpful Tool for Children & Parents



This tool can be used when your child is upset, angry or worried.  At which time, your child can go to a designated "calm down" area in your home, shake up the jar, set it down, and watch all the glitter settle to the bottom while taking deep breaths.  


When you and your child are feeling more calm, after the "calm down" time ends, you can use the following metaphor when talking to your child.


"Sometimes when we are upset, angry or worried, our thoughts and feelings (or worries if applicable) get all shaken up just like the glitter... To help our thoughts and feelings calm down, we can take deep breaths as we watch the glitter - just like our thoughts/feelings - settle down and become clear again."    


This tool can be used as an alternative to or during "time out" (calling it "calm down time") and may be used as many times as your child needs to in order to feel more calm.




A calm down jar can help your child learn how to cope, self-regulate and develop more self-control.  This is a helpful tool for "time out," temper tantrums, explosive behavior, or for any child or teen who is feeling upset or worried and would like to feel more calm.  



  • Clear Elmer's Glue
  • Glitter (loose glitter)
  • Mason jar (a plastic water bottle works well if you prefer not to use glass)
  • Super glue or hot glue (if you'd like to glue the lid on)
  • Water
  1. Fill your jar or bottle 3/4 of the way full with water.
  2. Add approx. 5 Tbsp. glitter to the jar/bottle
  3. Mix approx. 1/4 to 1/5  of the bottle of clear Elmer's glue with 1/2 cup hot water in a separate container.
  4. Add glue and hot water mixture to bottle/jar to fill to top
  5. Super glue or hot glue the lid on (if desired)
Practice taking deep belly breaths and using the "calm down jar" when both you and your child are feeling calm (such as at bedtime).  Your child will then have had some practice and will be more successful using this tool during "calm down" time.  
Over 150 children made a FREE Calm Down Jar while visiting the Phoenix Center booth during Children's Day on Saturday, April 19, 2014.  
Children also enjoyed free face painting. 
A Child Making a Calm Down Glitter Bottle during Children's Day 2014
Face Painting at the Phoenix Center booth during Children's Day
Ways You Can Help 
Thank you hand
$10 Healthy snacks
$50 Parenting classes
$100 One therapy session
$200 Day camp for one child
$500 Weekend camp for one child
$1,000 10 therapy sessions for one child  


Our programs are made possible 

by volunteers and private donations. 

Your support is vital and deeply appreciated.

Options to give include a monthly, quarterly, or 
annually recurring gift, and a dedication or 
memorial gift.  



Phoenix Center
P.O Box 732
Marble Falls, TX 78654

(Click for more info)


  •  2 Ikea (or other) rocking chairs for parents waiting in our waiting room 
  • Ikea Norden Gateleg table for playroom
  • Blank sketchbooks and journals for children    receiving therapy services 
  • Plants - outdoor & indoor office plants
  • Large outdoor planter with cherry tomatoes     for children to pick to take home
  • Beads for camps 
  • Art papers: assorted sizes
  • Clay: Self-drying Crayola brand
  • Healthy snacks for Phoenix After-School  
  • Art canvases or canvas boards
  • Crayola markers and colored pencils
  • Play-dough 
  • Pottery wheels for after-school programs
    (Please contact us for details)


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.


Visit for complete details. Call 
877-537-5277 to get started! 



 Who We Are   


art classyoga - peyton

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


When children have experienced trauma or abuse, research shows early intervention is critical for long-term well-being and health. Through our services, children in need are able to access exemplary mental health services, and ultimately thrive as individuals and families.


Our Services

Phoenix Counseling: Research-based therapy services for children, ages 3- 18, who have experienced abuse and/or other critical mental health needs.

Phoenix Parenting: Free of cost, research based parenting classes, supporting local children who have experienced abuse or trauma. 

Phoenix After School: Therapeutic children's groups incorporating yoga/wellness and expressive art activities, which promote relaxation, coping, and social skills.

Camp Phoenix: Therapeutic camp sessions at Candlelight Ranch, including equine therapy - our own innovative therapeutic camp curriculum.


card-sunflower 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  
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 school counselors, churches and families.


Our Staff 

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. 


Our Board 

Members include J. Allan Garrett, Terry Gulden, Harry Born, Lindsay Plante, Patti McCormick, Molly Biglari, Elizabeth Turner & Courtney Bowen.

Connect with Phoenix Center!

Find us on Pinterest View our profile on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter 



Sarah Rosen Garrett, LCSW, RPT

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.