Our Children’s Retreat
Our retreats at our private retreat center in Cherry Log, Georgia address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of survivors of sexual abuse, sex trafficking and domestic violence. Through individual and group counseling and recreational therapy, participants regain a sense of balance in their lives and find inner healing. Racheal’s Rest is engaged in programs that benefit a broad base of the community. While we welcome “all walks of life”, Racheal’s Rest is based on biblical principles.
As you would probably surmise, our children’s retreats can only be scheduled with the kids are out of school. OUR NEXT CHILDREN’S RETREAT WILL BE SCHEDULED THE SPRING AND/OR SUMMER OF 2018.
Connection with other survivors of sexual abuse is a vital component of healing. Racheal’s Rest retreats provide survivors with a safe, supportive environment in which to start or continue their journey to emotional health.
CHILDREN: Children express their emotions through play rather than language. I use strategic play therapy with children up to the age of 10 when their cognitive development reaches a more advanced stage. It is imperative for a therapist to understand the developmental stages of children in order to understand their behavior. I bring to my practice 25 years of working with children in a day care setting. With children as well as teens, we may use games, arts and crafts activities, music, videos, work pages, etc. to address their issues.
EDUCATION: We do activities that develop social skills, teach personal boundaries and safety awareness.
PLAY: One of the greatest needs some survivors have is the need to learn to play, to relax and to take time to care for themselves. Therefore, a huge component of our program is recreational therapy. While it may look like a vacation to some, it is actually work for a lot of participants. Some were never allowed to play, others feel guilty if they are not doing something productive, and still others are so overwhelmed with responsibility and obligations that they don’t or can’t take time for themselves.
CONFIDENCE BUILDING: When people grow up without love and safety, they learn the world is not a safe place. In an effort to counteract the danger around them, they become overly cautious of getting hurt. This limits their willingness to try new things and to find their own voice. Children have the opportunity to learn to swim, ride a bike or fish or do a variety of things they may not have had the opportunity or confidence to do.
RELAXATION: The role of water at Racheal’s Rest is a MUST! Water is meant to be soothing, but for many survivors it is frightening instead. Many never felt safe, even in the womb, our first water experience. Currently, retreats are held near the Sandy Bottom Canoe Launch area in Blue Ridge, Georgia, because it is very shallow and accessible at the river’s edge. Those who are terrified of water can sit on lawn chairs at the edge and not feel threatened by the rushing water. Others who are more adventuresome can tube down the river or climb on the rocks. Survivors learn from, and are encouraged by, other survivors.
BODY IMAGE: Many survivors have a distorted view of themselves. Being “clumsy” or “accident prone” describes many survivors who are not in touch with their physical bodies. With children, we use group games and individual activities that help them connect with themselves.