Horses Healing Hearts is now licensed with State of Florida Department of Children and Family Services.
Below are some additional resources you can access now, please review the materials first and then make time to learn and share with your kids:
www.sesamestreetincommunities.org Click on the topic of Parental Addiction and explore the activities we helped create with Sesame Street to help younger children, ages four through 10, grow and heal. There are videos, a coloring activity with the 7 Cs, a storybook, and an interactive quilt for you to do with your children.
"Having something continuous, safe and stable is beyond priceless and this program gives that to these beautiful souls. This program gives hope and support to these children, and that is something I am blessed to be a part of. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else then with these amazing kids!!!"
— Volunteer Testimonial
"Children lives are changed because of the work that is being done here! I don't know of any other program like this that help children deal with a parent that is suffering from alcoholism."
— Parent Testimonial
"I can’t say enough about Horses Healing Hearts. It is a worthwhile and beneficial program, and the children will reap the benefits of the experience for the rest of their lives."
— Volunteer Testimonial
"Despite everything these kids have gone through, they're still able to genuinely enjoy themselves and be able to share their life stories with us. I enjoy every moment being able to work for such a great organization."
— Volunteer Testimonial
Horses Healing Hearts serves children whose parents are affected by addiction. Using the healing power of horses, we support their emotional needs and teach coping skills – giving them the tools to lead a healthy life, free of drugs and alcohol, and break the generational cycle of addiction.
Additionally, the general public does not understand how incredibly healing horses can be for all types of trauma. Our charity brings together the children who have been affected by addiction and the horses who offer their acceptance, love, and incredible ability to sense when someone is not “in touch” with their feelings.
There are tens of thousands of us who love horses, grew up with addicted parent(s) and felt the only place of solace and escape was the barn. Our faces were pressed against our horse’s neck and cheeks pressed against their nose- feeling their sweet and calming breath on our shoulder — Knowing they understood everything without a word. Being one of those children I wanted to start a group using what saved me, mentors and horses, to pay forward what was offered to me in the most difficult years of my life.
Why Addiction Is a Generational Cycle:
Children who grow up with addiction learn three unspoken rules — “Don’t talk, don’t trust, and don’t feel.” These rules enable them to temporarily survive the trauma and violence that they live daily.
However, as they grow up the feelings start coming to the surface, and they are very uncomfortable and painful. Unless the child has learned a positive way to deal with their feelings… Through means such as a sport, a hobby, or by being involved with a group such as Horses Healing Hearts, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, etc, they are very likely to follow the pattern of their parents and have a very strong desire to numb the pain of the feelings through alcohol or drugs.
At our prevention sessions, we teach them they are not alone, their parents addiction is not their fault, and it is safe to feel their feelings.
Thank you for taking the time to inquire and giving us the opportunity to share what we do.
One fourth of our children have a parent absent due to incarceration, suicide, over-dose, murder and other substance abuse related deaths. Thank you for your interest in Horses Healing Hearts.
Education Vs. Therapy
Horses Healing Hearts is an Education and Prevention Program. We are not a therapy program.
Differences between Awareness, Education and Therapy for COAs (Children of Alcoholics):
COA-specific services can be viewed on a continuum with awareness raising activities that can benefit everyone on one end to intensive psychotherapy that is only needed by some COAs on the other end of the continuum. Each type of service has different goals.
Awareness activities such as public service announcements (PSAs), print advertisements, posters, etc. let COAs know they are not alone. These activities and messages are critical because they break the “don’t talk” rule. In most alcoholic families, children are told not to talk about the parents’ drinking so they are reluctant to tell outsiders. Public awareness activities aimed at youth universalizes their experience and reduces some of the isolation, shame, and confusion.
Education goes a step further by explaining why parents break promises, act differently when drinking, feel and act sick when not drinking, forget things, etc. To be effective, education must fit the cognitive development and learning style of each child. In providing education, consideration must be given to the fact that some children become highly anxious during this time and may not absorb and integrate the information. Others may have learning disabilities that make it difficult to listen and learn in groups, to read or to write stories, or draw pictures about their feelings or family. Just as awareness can help reduce the isolation, education can help reduce the pain. Understanding that a child is not responsible for the parents’ drinking or other activities, that drinking can make it hard for a parent to take care of a child can help a child separate him/herself from the parents’ problem.
Giving COAs an opportunity to talk about their situation, listening, and expressing empathy is important because for many COAs, it is not permissible to talk about their situation at home. Statements by non-alcoholic spouses such as, “you shouldn’t feel that way.” “Grow up,” “You don’t know what it means to be upset,” “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” are characteristic of parent responses given to COAs who do express feelings. As a result, many COAs learn it is not safe or wise to express feelings.
Content taken from: “Children of Alcoholics: Selected Readings” Volume II; Printed by NACoA (National Association for Children of Alcoholics)
Horses Healing Hearts - 2300 High Ridge Road, Ste 365, Boynton Beach, FL 33426
Email: email@example.com Tel: 1-877 Horse 10