Children enter into orphanages for many reasons. Sometimes it’s because their parents are no longer able to take care of them; other times, it is because their parents passed away. Often, these children come from toxic, neglectful or even abusive situations, leaving them with severe trauma that inhibits their progression or development in some way. You, our generous donors and supporters, have made it possible for psychologists to begin helping these children work through the trauma they have endured. With the help of the psychologists, these children have already made tremendous strides, especially in their confidence, social skills and overall demeanor.
Cristi, one of the psychologists, has been working with an 11-year-old girl named Josi *name changed to protect the child’s privacy* at one of the orphanages we serve. She suffered from severely low self-esteem and felt guilty for being left at the orphanage, as though it were somehow her fault.
When Josi first began working with Cristi, she was shy, consistently speaking in a soft, low-tone, as if she did not want to draw attention to herself. She struggled greatly with separation anxiety. When her sessions would end, it would take nearly 30 minutes before Cristi could convince her that it was time to go home. At home, when it was time to go to bed, she would be hesitant to leave her house parents’ side for the night.
Cristi began working with her through play therapy. Play therapy is not the typical treatment for an 11-year-old, but Cristi thought this was the best place for them to begin. After 10 sessions, Cristi began to see dramatic changes in this young girl. When she came in, she wanted to skip playing and instead came in opting for conversation; always chatting up a storm. When their sessions ended, she would get up and leave without complaint. Josi was overall much happier and more outgoing, and no longer carried feelings of guilt about being left at the orphanage.
“I don’t know what’s happened but she makes us all laugh and she’s really changed for the better.”
– Josi’s House Parent
Samantha's Continuous Strides
Cristi is also currently working with a 13-year-old girl named Samantha *name changed to protect child’s privacy* who was referred to her because she frequently stole others’ belongings. She would take anything she could get her hands on: food, money, electronics. The problem became more urgent when she took her house parents’ phone and laptop.
Cristi began Samantha’s treatment with talk therapy. Cristi focused their conversations on Samantha’s family history and problems. Cristi says that Samantha’s self esteem had hit rock bottom; she believed that she was ugly and that her mother had left her because of the color of her skin. She had no friends and she was angry at the world. Her peers would single her out for the actions she was taking, putting a strain on the relationships she had at home and with others.
Cristi built a foundation of trust and established a relationship with the child to the point where she was confessing her wrongdoings completely on her own. When she first began meeting with Cristi she would say that she couldn’t help grabbing others’ belongings. After only five sessions, she would come in saying, “I haven’t grabbed anything this week!” This is when Cristi began noticing a change in her mentality. This child now has friends— not only within her house, but also outside of it. Samantha continues to attend her sessions regularly, and Cristi is very optimistic about the direction their sessions are heading.
None of these success stories could have taken place without you. Because of you, these children can receive support in any way that they need— even psychological.