Clinicians who offer pro bono therapy through A Home Within bring not only their skills, but also their hearts to their work. Because they understand the crucial importance of stable, lasting, loving relationships, they very frequently find creative ways of maintaining the connection to a child they see in therapy. Nora’s therapist reached out to us when Nora was in danger of losing not only her family, but her therapist, too.*
It seemed that nine-year-old Nora had finally found a family, and she had a formal family portrait to prove it. But then the parents who had planned to adopt her decided that she just wasn’t quite the child they had in mind. This was the fourth family Nora had lost. First she lost her mother to drugs and the streets. Then she lost the relatives she had been living with when they couldn’t adequately care for her. After a brief time in emergency foster care, Nora thought she had found a family that would be hers forever.
Sadly, Nora’s therapist was planning to leave the clinic where she had been seeing her at about the same time Nora would move to a new family. Then a colleague told her about A Home Within. “I was so relieved and pleased when I learned that I didn’t have to transfer her to a new therapist in the clinic, but could continue to work with her through A Home Within.”
Nora is now settled into a new adoptive home. Instead of losing her therapist and feeling rejected by yet another person, Nora has had her therapist’s help through this very difficult transition. Nora and her new adoptive parents are still getting to know each other, but the family dog has become her constant companion. She continues to work to make friends in her new school. Her teachers are working with her therapist to help Nora control her temper and learn better ways of approaching people.
Nora has been able to work with the same therapist for over three years. Without this continuing support, her feelings of rejection and anger might have put too much strain on the relationship with her new foster parents, leading to yet another loss.
Happily, this is not an unusual story. The clinicians who are part of the network of A Home Within give their all for the child they agree to see “for as long as it takes.” Valentine’s Day is a fitting time to honor these clinicians and the love that they infuse in their work.
They are truly the heart of A Home Within.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact us at ahomewithin.org or call 888-898-2249.
By Toni Heineman