When 7-year-old Marcus’ father contacted Safe Shores, this devoted dad was desperately seeking support to help his precocious and once joy-filled son deal with intense fear and anxiety after witnessing a police-involved shooting. What had until then been the two of them watching nation-wide protests and media coverage of community injustices on a screen was now at their doorstep, and for little Marcus, it was too much.
Marcus was now struggling to sleep alone, was afraid to leave his father’s side, and having recurring bad dreams. Not only did they have to grapple with what was happening outside, but they now had to find new ways to cope within their own home, which no longer felt safe.
That’s why Marcus’ father called Safe Shores.
When Marcus entered therapy at Safe Shores, his dad was uncertain about how to best support his little boy. So, the therapist spent several sessions encouraging dad and providing psychoeducation about trauma and the brain, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and grief. Giving Marcus’ dad this strong foundation was integral to Marcus’ successful treatment.
Now Marcus confidently says, “I don’t have that many bad dreams anymore. Only sometimes.” Due to the pandemic, Marcus has been meeting with his therapist virtually where they use puppet play – featuring “Rexie” the dinosaur puppet created by our therapist – to explore the fight, flight, and freeze responses to trauma. Virtual therapy has involved not just clinical expertise, but creativity and flexibility, including allowing Marcus to direct the nature of his sessions. Together, Marcus and his father have found light at the end of the tunnel because of mental health support from Safe Shores, all provided free of charge.
For over 25 years Safe Shores has specialized in offering a unique combination of intervention, hope, and healing for child victims of abuse and other trauma, like Marcus. Given this unprecedented year and the uncertainty of the year to come, before 2020 ends will you please make a tax-deductible, donation to Safe Shores to ensure our services remain available to children who need them? Every child deserves to be healthy and safe and to feel safe, and sometimes that requires help. Will you help today?