Hope is at the heart of what we do. So many individuals, families and children have come to The Center to gain a new perspective and it’s changed their lives. Below are a few of their stories.
For some, therapy can be child’s play. For families, it can be a lifesaver.
Ask Joy Swander. She understands the difference The Center can make.
“My grandsons were in a very stressful family situation. As a result, they became aggressive at home and then started acting out in school. They didn’t’ know how to handle themselves, so they were throwing chairs…basically exploding.
It became such a difficult situation that we had to step in and start taking some serious measures! We even had to hospitalize them for a while. But we realized that a hospital wasn’t a practical way to handle the situation. We had to find a workable, more everyday method to help the boys through this.
So that’s when we came to The Center. It was a place they could go, with programs that helped them. There, they could get answers to questions, learn manners, and develop life skills that they were lacking. The best thing was play therapy. They were able to act out, which helped them control their aggression.
If we had not found The Center, I really feel like the boys would be so stressed in their home life that they would either be runaways or become juvenile delinquents.
The Center can provide guided-growth. Children don’t always know how to get out of a situation, they don’t even know there’s another pathway. The Center gave the boys the coping skills, the tools they needed to deal with their daily lives.
Hospitalization and counseling can be expensive. It put us in a difficult financial situation. The Center was able to step in and help us with that.
The Center turned out to be a lifesaver.”
Paul Davis, Jr.
Getting to the center of your issue may be half the battle.
Even after decade of carrying his personal burden, Paul Davis, Jr. learned how much The Center can help.
“When I first came to The Center, I was extremely isolated – and I’d been that way for a very long time. It was mainly from grieving and not being able to handle it.
This started all the way back when I was in Vietnam…you’re in combat, a man dies, they have a memorial service, that’s fifteen minutes, done and you’re back out in the field. No time to process or to reflect at the moment – and it never gets dealt with afterward, either. So for me it was 45, 50 years of really never handling any of that and carrying it all these years.
People at The Center helped me get to the root cause. They weren’t a bunch of psychiatrists simply handing pills out; I went through that at other places over the years and I don’t like it. The situation is very different at The Center. Their combination of counseling, the spiritual aspect, a little bit of technology…it all came together for me. It’s a very personal thing, too.I didn’t feel like a number like I had in the past. And it just feels good when you walk in the door.
Finding out what’s going on in my head and how I can deal with it – that doesn’t happen overnight. But from one to three years later, there has been steady progress. They’ve given me the ability to handle things that come up on a daily basis, to go out and talk to people normally.
When I go there, I don’t have a bunch of people just looking at some medical problem. They’re looking at my heart, too. And my soul.”
–Paul Davis, Jr.
Sister Elizabeth Hatzenbuehler
“I have come back again and again, and my art tells the story of my heart’s journey toward new growth and resilience.”
“For some time now, I’ve participated in The Center’s Art Open Studio and WellSpring Poetry/Prose Writing programs. There are vulnerable and challenging stages in our lives where an oasis of trust and safety, experienced guides, and companions on the journey can make such a difference. I have experienced that each time I came to The Center – it is simply a beautiful, nourishing place to be.
I came originally for the ‘Art Heals Hearts’ project – to be offered hours of quiet reflection, respectful space, and a banquet of art supplies to sample, to explore, and to consume has been such a gift. I have come back again and again, and my art tells the story of my heart’s journey toward new growth and resilience.
When I came last month, I met Cyra Dumitru, and a whole new world opened up for me. In the past, when I struggled to find words, art became my voice. With this program, I realized that ‘poems live in you now…and have always lived in you.’ I am learning to trust my inner voice and let it speak in poetry as well as in my art. To be able to express myself in poetry has – on a deeper level – helped me touch the feelings and emotions that have sometimes seemed too tangled to articulate.”
–Sister Elizabeth Susan Hatzenbuehler, OSU
Leslie & Noel Braswell
“Neurofeedback (NFB) will help you a lot. I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and didn’t like how I felt—didn’t know how to stay in control, how to keep my distance from people. I tend to run out and get mad.
NFB has been helping a lot. I enjoyed it. I was hooked up to a computer, using a cap on my head. We played a balloon game or PacMan or watched movies. You have to stay in control to keep it playing. Since I started NFB, I haven’t been fighting with my mom. And I haven’t been sad, or mad…just calm.“
“Leslie’s psychiatrist recommended The Center three years ago. We made real progress with play therapy, but then came to a standstill—Leslie got agitated and I didn’t know how to deal with her frustration and anger.
Professionals at The Center suggested she would be a good candidate for Neurofeedback (NFB). So, we met Nick and worked with him. He put a cap with wires on her head…all non-invasive…and gathered data on her brainwaves as a control. Then he had her play games—and if she would lose focus, the game would stall. This trained her brain to stay at a constant level. With self-control, her mood and emotions seemed more even, more stable.
Now at school, she doesn’t get frustrated and run out of the room so often. At home, her temper doesn’t escalate with normal tasks. Change happens over time, not overnight. But nothing has been as successful as NFB in conjunction with her medicine.”
–Noel Braswell (Leslie’s mom)
Scott Garrigus & Tina Rabe
“It was a good experience. It was new and something I’ve never done before. I played PacMan. I could keep playing as long as I stayed focused. If I lost focus, it would stop.
Learning how to focus made it easier for me to learn in school. I’m less distracted in class, so I’m making better grades, and because of that I can even play football now.”
“Scott has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), but I didn’t want to give him meds. We did that with his little brother and the meds caused him to become withdrawn and depressed. So The Center suggested Neurofeedback (NFB). We met with Nick, who put a cap on Scott’s head to map brainwaves and see where pathways weren’t connecting. Then they had Scott play a video game. He could see it clearly when he was focused, but when he lost focus so would the game! So Neurofeedback was non-invasive and it really helped. It gave Scott the same competitive advantage as all his friends.
Before therapy, Scott was struggling to stay on-task in school…getting mostly Cs and low Bs. Now he can focus and pay attention – and makes mostly As and some Bs. I really think God led us to this place.”
–Tina Rabe (Scott’s mom)
“They [Life After Loss Grief Support Group] gave me permission to grieve, to not be strong all the time, to cry if I needed to cry, and to heal at my own pace, not anyone else’s. It gave me a chance to connect with others who were going through the same kind of heart-breaking losses, each in their very own way and their own time.”
If you or someone you know needs help with complex issues – mental, physical, emotional or psychological – look into all the ways The Center can help. Call us at 210.616.0885 to learn more about our wide range of counseling, therapies, support groups, and other means of coping and healing.