CHAPS was established to serve children who struggled to sit still in a traditional office setting, and rarely took anything beneficial out of a mental health session (most often kids on the Autism spectrum, or struggling with ADD/ADHD). A psychiatrist heard about the creative approach to use horses and referred an unexpected client to the new program. She was a 16-year-old who had been hospitalized 36 times for suicide attempts and ideation. She had been labeled a "revolving door" client: someone who could not find success, despite dozens of different therapists and medications.
At her first session at CHAPS, she met the horse who chose her. As she left that session, she skipped to her mother who was waiting in the car and said, "my horse's name is Chance. I think that means I have a chance, too". After her discharge from CHAPS, she has never been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or attempts again.
From this success, our Hope Lives Suicide Prevention and Intervention program was born. Today, it serves as our largest program, but we do still see the clients we set out to serve with creative therapy. If you would like to learn more about how we serve that population today, check out ourPlay Therapy Program.
CHAPS provides hope and healing through creative counseling, specialized therapies and utilizing a strength based approach. Incorporating equine therapy, play therapy, art therapy, mindfulness and even yoga. CHAPS serves children, adolescents and adults struggling with trauma, depression, anxiety, PTSD and suicidal ideation. CHAPS is a licensed mental health clinic and a perfect fit for individuals who may not be successful in traditional therapy. In 2009, CHAPS Academy, Inc. expanded by acquiring Medical & Counseling Associates, LLC.
CHAPS understands that finding the right care for you or your child is often a long and challenging process. CHAPS wants to help you and your family with mental health care. We partner with a number of health insurers. Call the number on the back of your card to see if CHAPS is an in-network provider or call our front desk and we can inquire for you.
At the heart of CHAPS is equine-assisted therapy. Equine therapy offers a powerful and effective therapeutic approach to youth and adults who have been impacted by trauma, and as a result may be suffering from anxiety and depression. People who have struggled to make progress in traditional therapy have had significant success with equine therapy.
CHAPS utilizes horses in its work with high-risk individuals to facilitate the mental health counseling process and re-establish emotional connections. Horses are unique in how they relate to each other and to humans. People observe and interact with the horses discovering a reflection of themselves in the horse's behavior and a reflection of their family environment within the herd. Counselors are then able to utilize these observations to address thought processes, family dynamics, and social environment in a non-threatening manner.
My daughter has bottled her emotions since she was about 7 years old. One consequence of this was suicidal ideation. She refused counseling for 10 years until I found CHAPS. Now after 3 months, she is more confident, speaks up for herself, and honors her boundaries. What an amazing start! Also, she never misses a session. Kudos to CHAPS!