At CHNJ, we are always seeking to serve youth facing homelessness in new and better ways. Experiencing homelessness itself is traumatic, and often our youth have been subjected to many other forms of trauma such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, trafficking, and more.
To help our youth overcome this trauma and equip them with tools to heal, we provide behavioral health counseling. In our continuing efforts to improve service to our youth, we recently renewed a partnership with the Bergen Equestrian Center to offer horse coaching as a therapy option to our young people. This unique opportunity is possible thanks to the support of Breyer and other donors from our recent Fund A Need campaign. Horse coaching incorporates horses into the therapeutic process, and we have seen great results. By interacting with the horse, our youth can gain awareness of self and others, boundaries, trust, relationships, emotional regulation, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills. It’s also a great way for our counselors to discuss with our youth their responses to fear, stress, disappointment, pressure, and anger and develop new skills to self-regulate these responses. These skills are so essential for our youth to transition successfully into independent living and build resiliency.
The program has run for a few weeks, and we have successes to show. One youth with significant mental health history who was guarded and not communicative started talking to staff, playing games with staff, and smiling after just one week of horse coaching. Please read more inspiring success stories and view more pictures here about our horse coaching work.
Alison Iannarone, Clinical Supervisor at CHNJ, says, “Horse coaching allows us the opportunity to creatively engage our young people while teaching them tangible skills that they can use in their future. We are so thankful to Breyer and our supportive donors who enabled us to bring this exciting program to our kids and help them continue to heal. ” To hear Allison talk more about horse coaching, click here.
Thank YOU for continuing to support ALL of CHNJ’s efforts to help our youth thrive!
Are you a youth in need of help?