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Jumping Mouse Children’s Center transforms lives through expressive mental health therapy for as long as it takes to heal. We nurture each child’s healthy development and supportive relationships at home and in the community.
The inspiration behind Jumping Mouse
The name Jumping Mouse was inspired by a Native American legend of a small creature who dreams of a new way of life. Compassionate and courageous, the young mouse journeys to unfamiliar places and faces many terrifying challenges. Along the way, a magic frog gives him the gift of strong hind legs and the new name, "Jumping Mouse." Throughout his journey, he befriends other creatures who help him as he discovers his strengths and his spirit. In the end, he is transformed into a magnificent soaring eagle.
This ancient myth is a metaphor for the journey undertaken by a child at Jumping Mouse. Though they may face frightening experiences and emotions, through therapy they learn to trust their own inner strength and resilience. As they heal, they realize their ability to meet the challenges of daily life and relate positively to the world around them.
At Jumping Mouse, children are our first priority. To promote healing, we design a comprehensive treatment program based on the unique needs of each child.
Play therapy leads to understanding
Play, rather than talking, is a child’s natural way of communicating. At Jumping Mouse, play therapy is based on a trusted relationship between the child and therapist, so the child feels safe to tell his story. For one hour per week, the child meets with her therapist and uses a variety of toys and creative materials to narrate past and present experiences. For instance, she may use the sand trays to create a diorama (a story or miniature world) by arranging toy people, animals, cars and plants in the sand. In the process of play, children express their own attitudes and feelings, producing changes in awareness and thus in behavior. Therapy lasts as long as necessary for the child to heal.
Support for parents and caregivers
While their child is in therapy, parents and caregivers meet monthly with the therapist. Together, they discuss how to best support their child. For parents who would like greater support, we offer our Securing Connections parenting program. Therapists may also meet with teachers and other important adults in the child’s life to help them better understand the child’s needs in terms of developmental phase, temperament, and life experience.
Together, we build a safe and nurturing community where kids and families can thrive.
- Candy Carter
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