Preteen canines bring calm and create
Shared Experiences
By Jeanna Osborn
Calo Canine Director
The Calo Canine Therapy
Karen Moist Uses Hulk
to Treat Preteen Trauma
Working with her Calo preteen girls,
therapist Karen Moist often tells them ...
of 2

Preteen Parent News Final

Published on: Mar 4, 2016

Transcripts - Preteen Parent News Final

  • 1. Preteen canines bring calm and create Shared Experiences By Jeanna Osborn Calo Canine Director The Calo Canine Therapy Department utilizes four canines-- Diesel, Neptune, Glamour, and Nugget--to help students. Through daily interactions with the canines the students develop a deeper understanding of commitment and acceptance. The student provides security for the canines through basic care, management, and training. This leads to attunement and alignment where co-regulation is practiced with a caregiver. The students will experience making mistakes with the canines and feel empathy, love, and acceptance as the canine quickly forgives and provides unconditional love. This allows students to practice safe and healthy attachment. The Preteen canine program reflects many of the stages of our clinical model: Students show commitment through providing or helping caregivers provide for the dog’s basic physical needs. Students show acceptance by providing or helping to provide for the dog’s mental and emotional needs through training, exercise, attention, and affection. Students show attunement and co-regulation by exercising self- control and through considering how their actions or lack of attention affect the dog. Students experience joy as the canines experience joy through the interdependent relationship that student and dog share. Students are automatically enrolled in the Preteen Canine Therapy program upon admission to Calo Preteens. Using conventional animal-assisted therapy, students can find comfort and support through the canines. Although students are not assigned a particular dog, three canines are available to preteen students at any hour of the day for comfort and companionship. Caregivers and students work together to provide care for the dogs, and care activities like feeding and walking are built into the student schedule. CALO PRETEENSUPDATE October2015 Family Days Set for October 14-15 Parents will be arriving on the Preteen campus on Wednesday, October 14, in the morning for the first of two Family Days. During the two-day event, families will have a chance to spend time with their preteens, have some family time off campus, and participate in parent workshops. Wednesday begins with some activity time in the Calo gym with parents and preteens, followed by lunch in the Preteen homes. Following lunch parents will say “good- bye” to preteens and attend afternoon workshops on such topics as emotional and physical regulation. Dinner will feature activities, as well as a catered meal. Thursday morning begins with breakfast in the lower conference room in the teen program’s building, followed by a seminar. After the seminar, parents will return to the Preteen homes and play some games with their preteens. Lunch will be followed by a pumpkin carving activity with parents and preteens. Parent support groups will convene after the pumpkin carving. At 4 o’clock students leaving with parents will check out for the weekend. Preteen canine “Diesel” Preteen canine “Neptune” Preteen canine “Nugget” Meet Tasha Callaway, Teacher With 21 students now enrolled in the Preteen Academics program, Tasha Callaway is joining the department at an exciting time. The Special Education-certified teacher of seventh and eighth grade boys and girls shares that excitement. “I love it here,” she says. The first-year teacher received her BS in Education from Drury University in Springfield, MO, and is currently enrolled in Drury’s masters degree program, specializing in teaching and technology. “In my first few weeks here, I’ve really tried to get kids interested in the curriculum,” Tasha says, “and that seems to be working now.” Using media and technology, she has focused on social studies and science. “We’re doing lots of writing too.” Tasha is the mother of two children. When she isn’t teaching Calo Preteens or parenting her own children, Tasha is an avid photographer. Two of her photographs of eagles have been published by the Missouri Conservation Department.
  • 2. Karen Moist Uses Hulk to Treat Preteen Trauma Working with her Calo preteen girls, therapist Karen Moist often tells them the story of The Hulk, the comic book character. The Hulk, a huge, green giant, is the alter ego of Bruce Banner, a mild- mannered physicist. When Bruce experiences fear and anger he transforms into the Hulk, often destroying anything in his path. In one storyline, Bruce discovered that in the serenity of the Amazonian rainforest, he was able to tame the Hulk. “For my girls, I want to be their rainforest,” says Karen. Because so many Calo Preteens students struggle to manage their own feelings of fear and anger, Karen’s analogy of the Hulk is an apt one. A comic book hero is likely to appeal to preteens and the metaphor is straightforward. “I use lots of art and toys with the girls,” Karen explains. “Their language is play.” Because many of her students have experienced trauma before they had language to talk about it, toys and play are especially effective therapeutic ways for students to access those traumatic experiences. Karen Moist brings a wealth of experience to her new work at Calo Preteens. Karen comes to Calo from the Children’s Home Society of Missouri in St. Louis, where she was a therapist. She has also worked in private practice and for many years worked with children in the Woodland School District in Gurnee, IL. But most important for Calo Preteens, “I have a passion for trauma work,” Karen says. “I love that we have the opportunity to do a wide range of therapies.” She is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, and Rhythmic Movement Therapy. All of these specialized therapies give Karen ways to treat traumatized children beyond just “talk therapy.” Karen earned a B.A. in Psychology from Ashland University in Clinton, IA. Her masters degree is in forensic psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where she is also working on a doctorate in international psychology with a trauma focus. Karen stresses that she has been in the shoes of many of her students’ adoptive parents. Karen has served as the guardian for five teenagers, who are all now young adults. “I’ve been there, and I know how hard it can be,” she says. That’s why in her work with parents she stresses acceptance and forgiveness. “I’ve found that I’ve had to learn to forgive both my children and myself,” she says. “Trauma isn’t the child’s fault,” she concludes Q & A with Laurie Laird, Executive Director What drew you to Calo Preteens program? For years I have been following Calo, either by crossing paths with people in leadership positions or aware of students who attended Calo. I have always been impressed with Calo’s focus on children with developmental trauma and brain- based treatment. When the opportunity presented itself to work at Calo, I was thrilled to help build the preteen program. How has your background prepared you for this role? I have dedicated my life to working with youth; as an educator for 16 years and as the education director at a residential program for the last 15 years. My years of managing a department and working closely with other departments such as clinical and residential have proven to be invaluable in preparation. What has been the biggest surprise for you so far? I really like the Lake Ozark area! It was not in my life’s dreams to live in Missouri but happily, I’m adjusting and finding the area to be welcoming and breathtakingly beautiful. What do you see as the program’s greatest assets? By far, our people. I’m so impressed with the supervisors, therapists, nurses, and other direct care staff who work with our children. I’m grateful to work with people who care deeply about helping and healing children with emotional dysregulation. Their dedication inspires me on a daily basis. What do you see as the program’s challenges? I know it takes great trust and hope for a parent to place a young child in treatment. Earning this trust is important to me so my challenge is to make sure we have a program that is worthy in every way to ensure a parent knows they made a correct choice in placing their child at Calo. What are your longer-term goals for the program? To become the best preteen developmental trauma program in the country. I believe this is possible with the right employees and the right metrics to measure our success. With those two assets, we can create and sustain the best treatment possible. CALOPRETEENSUPDATE/OCTOBER2015 “What will be your focus for the rest of this year? Since the preteen program has only been open for 10 months, my focus for the rest of the year is to align our metrics for success so we have a proven record for best treatment and care.”

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