This year, the Center for Child Protection developed several new and unique therapy methods to help children heal from the trauma of abuse. One method in particular involves a vegetable garden and the help of a scarecrow named Carrie.
The goals of this unique therapy method are several. First, it is a regulating activity because it involves pulling weeds and tilling soil, which is repetitive and calming. After trauma has occurred, repetition is vital to moving forward. It also allows clients to address sensory issues (touch, feel, smell and sight). The second part is that it allows clients to tend to and care for something other than people, which can be hard for clients who see others as harmful or bad. The garden also encourages clients to nurture something living, which is the beginning of empathy that sometimes the kids who visit the Center after trauma lack. Finally, the vegetable garden allows clients to have relationships with therapists in a way that is safe and keeps their focus on the present instead of the past.
Since the inception of the therapy garden, children and their families have been able to work together to build positive relationships. They see first-hand, from start to finish, the garden turn from soil and seed to something they can enjoy with the whole family.