HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The National Children’s Advocacy Center has a brand new garden in its backyard, but it’s not meant to be just something to look at; it is a therapeutic garden for the hundreds of abused children they serve.
The garden is constructed in such a way as to appeal to the five senses.
“They can come here, they can focus on the sights, the textures, the sights and the smells that help ground them in this particular moment and take them away from memories of the bad things that happened,” said the clinical and intervention director of the NCAC. said Erica Hochberger.
Engaging the senses is crucial to a technique that child therapists use called “grounding.”
“It means grounding yourself in the present moment,” Hochberger said.[To] know that they are safe at this time. They are healthy, they are fine.
The Advocacy Center worked with Across the Pond owner Trevor Cole to design the space to maximize the ways they could use the grounding technique.
“Feng Shui is one of them. Plants, different scents, different smells, edible plants,” Cole said.
The Center conducts about two forensic interviews each day with children, which means hundreds a year, but the programs they offer, which include therapy, serve even more.
“The need is just astronomical, and the children we see, the symptoms are more severe,” Hochberger said.
Garden supplies were paid for by a grant, but every minute of work was provided by dozens of volunteers from the Huntsville Madison County Builders Association and Across the Pond.
” This is what we do. We are all responsible for the community and we need to take care of the people around us,” Cole said.
The garden is now complete and operational.
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