Through an expanded partnership with Valerie’s House, a nonprofit children’s grief center, more children processing the loss of a loved one are benefitting from time with Naples Therapeutic Riding Center’s (NTRC) herd of therapy horses. NTRC, a non-profit organization providing therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-facilitated group services to children and adults with physical, social and mental health needs, invites the media to an upcoming session of NTRC’s equine-assisted bereavement program on Dec. 12 at 4 p.m.
This unique equine-facilitated learning program is designed to help children identify and vocalize feelings needed to process grief in an intimate, fun therapeutic setting where the trust and comfort of loving horses helps facilitate healing. Through exercises, children deepen awareness of their feelings and bodily tension while boosting self-esteem.
VISUALS, PHOTO AND INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES?
• Missy Lamont, Executive Director of Naples Therapeutic Riding Center
• Angela Melvin, Founder and Executive Director of Valerie’s House
• Morgan Rettew, 16-year old Equine-Assisted Bereavement Program participant
4:00 pm, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019
4:00 – 5:00 pm – Interviews
4:30 – 5:30 pm – Equine-Assisted Bereavement Group Session (b-roll/photo opportunities of child participants interacting with horses)
Naples Therapeutic Riding Center
206 Ridge Drive
Naples, FL 34108
Valerie’s House, which recently expanded in Collier County with a new Naples home, is on a mission to ensure no child grieves alone. Their program model, to provide a safe, comfortable place for children to bond, grieve and heal together following the death of a family member, was the perfect fit for the collective healing that happens every day at NTRC. In their support groups, children identify, express and process the trauma of losing a loved one using a variety of holistic services including art, music and pet therapy.
“Valerie’s House makes grieving fun just like this program at NTRC. Horses can feel your emotions. At first, I was terrified of these giant animals, but after the first session, I relaxed,” said Morgan Rettow, a 16-year old who lost her father after a six-year battle with cancer, of her experience in the 4-week equine-facilitated bereavement group. “The program helped me realize I can be open with new people and to new experiences. They taught me patience and that I need to give myself time to grieve.