Emma’s journey to healing through strength and resilience

Emma*, a young girl who loves unicorns and the colours pink and purple, showed remarkable strength and resilience throughout her healing journey with the Foundation.

Emma had experienced complex trauma, including family violence, exposure to drug use, and neglect. She struggled at school and in afterschool care, there was risk of her being expelled, and concerns that she may become isolated and not make any friends.

Emma was then referred for therapeutic work with her foster carer, Linda.

At the start of their work together, Emma’s Therapeutic Specialist created a box for Emma that could be brought along to every session. It included things that Emma may like to do with her Therapeutic Specialist that day.

Our Therapeutic Dolls have been used consistently throughout Emma's sessions. Emma has used them as friends, and as regulating tools to externalise her feelings and learn about them. This helps her learn about how her body responds to feelings, and allows her to play out how she and the dolls feel on different days.

The work with Emma and Linda has included activities that promote connection and opportunities to be with each other. For example, learning and helping each other using Lego, sand play, storytelling, reading books together, and sharing thoughts and ideas about feelings.

Over time, Emma has increased her ability to identify and name feelings, become more aware of how she experiences feelings in her body, and (in an age-appropriate way) learnt how her brain works.

She has been making steady progress and is now participating in learning and enjoying school. Mostly, she is the happiest and most proud about having friends and other children wanting to play with her!

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of children. Thank you for your understanding and support. If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000. For confidential support regarding family violence, call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732). To report concerns relating to a child, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.