Art, access and adaptation

Like you and I, Ellie’s life was turned upside down in 2020 with the impacts of coronavirus. Ellie already struggled at school and was only attending half days. She would often get frustrated with her peers and would get angry with her teachers and parents – causing stress for everyone.

Adding to that, her family had significant barriers to accessing food and housing. Their future often seems uncertain. Ellie’s therapist was determined to continue to help Ellie and her family through the further uncertainty created by the pandemic. Her therapist worked with them step-by-step to download Washburn Center’s teletherapy app on their phones.

Each week since the coronavirus started, Ellie’s therapist checks in to be sure her parents have access to food and resources to create more stability. Her therapist works with Ellie to build coping and social skills to help her manage her outbursts. Through teletherapy, Ellie and her therapist agreed to draw even though Ellie did not have markers or crayons at her home. So, her therapist improvised. She asked Ellie to choose an image that her therapist could draw for her. Ellie quickly picked a rainbow and started naming each color: red, orange, yellow, etc. pausing in between to let her therapist craft each arc. When Ellie finished her color choices, her therapist shared a bright drawing and smile – acknowledging the teamwork that generated a beautiful rainbow. This moment seems so simple – drawing an image on paper with a child – but it’s more than that – it illustrates the value of connection

“Teletherapy allows us to support our current and new clients as we struggle and triumph through this pandemic together,” said Elli’s therapist. With the commitment of generous supporters, Washburn Center clinicians have provided a vital link to therapeutic care.