formerly St. Joseph Orphanage (855) 577-PATH (7284)


My hobbies include: Sewing, working with clay
Something interesting about me: I sewed my own slippers that look like monsters eating my feet!
Favorite Activity: Swimming
Favorite Food Cheetos

Overcoming Childhood Trauma

THE YOUNGEST OF THREE CHILDREN, Shelby and her siblings have a history of trauma within the family that most people could not even imagine. With her father in jail for molesting her oldest sister, the effects of Shelby’s severe mood disorder and ADHD continued to ravage her life at home. Her violent anger outbursts, mostly directed towards her mother, escalated to the point that safety was becoming an issue. In March of 2017, Shelby was referred to St. Joseph Orphanage’s Intensive Home-Based Treatment (IHBT), which focuses on treatment of the entire family.

“The trauma didn’t end when their dad was removed from the home,”  Shelby’s mother said. “The effects of that nightmare experience continued to wreak havoc on the entire family, primarily with Shelby.”  Providers worked with Shelby individually, while also including a significant focus on family therapy to include her mother and siblings. While working with the mother to build parenting and coping skills, the therapist learned she had tremendous guilt regarding the father.

The family struggled with services until a breakthrough occurred during a session between Shelby and her mother, when Shelby finally revealed she was angry at her father, not her mother. This was perhaps the most significant therapeutic moment for Shelby and her mother, as she had never before admitted she was angry, nor was she able to identify the source of her anger.

For the next hour, the therapist sat together with mother and Shelby, processing, praising, coaching, facilitating and planning for the future. This was a new beginning for them both and now Shelby is more open, honest and comfortable with her feelings and with sharing. A major breakthrough step in the right direction!