Happy Pride Month! All kids deserve kind, safe, welcoming places to grow.

Samari’s Story

Samari finds her voice and shows her strength

Samari* quietly walked alongside her Washburn therapist as they checked in for the week. The second grader didn’t always have the words to describe her highs and lows: teachers saw her shutting down at school and becoming distant with her classmates.

Luckily, her therapist has a gift for giving her creative ways to express what was bottled up inside.

Samari’s therapist decided to try something new together.

Since it was incredibly difficult to find the words for her depression and anxiety, it was a magical moment when Samari’s therapist brought out a “strength wand” and saw Samari’s eyes following the movement of the sparkly wand from her toy box. That response introduced a therapeutic model to a child who was struggling to participate in therapy. With her therapist’s gentle coaching, Samari was unknowingly benefiting from an evidence-based practice that reinforced her healing.

There were days when Samari said she felt like “a big blob of slime.”

Those were times when Samari needed to hear: she was in a brave space to share icky emotions. With the power of the wand, her therapist seeded the courage for her to keep walking down the school hall to find her therapist as she figured out how to settle into her elementary classroom – something that was no easy feat just a few months before.

Those initial steps back into the classroom with newfound skills paved the way for big improvements for Samari.

This therapy model helps kids to heal from distress caused by traumatic events that were not fully processed. The approach can be effective for children when delivered by trained professionals as the approach doesn’t rely heavily on words.

The healing of a child is enchanting, but at Washburn Center, this type of transformative progress is part of what we do every single day. Our therapists create and witness this profound healing with 4,000 children each year.

*Pseudonym used to protect the privacy of a child.