Make an Impact: Healing with trauma starts with Small Talk

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Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:51 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -Whether it’s baby steps or monumental ones, healing from trauma starts with some small talk. And that’s exactly what Counselor Calista Chaltron teaches kids of abuse.

“Children come to Small Talk for all different types of trauma and reactions,” said Calista Chaltron. “We’re able to get clients and families the support and those tools to be able to help decrease trauma symptoms.”

Small Talk Children’s Advocacy Center helps child victims of sexual and physical abuse heal from past scars. Counseling teaches skills like coping, relaxation and most importantly patience.

“We make sure that we give the child time and space to process their trauma,” said Chaltron. “We really value that we’ll never make a child talk if they’re not willing to or they’re not ready.”

Small Talk offers kids under the age of 18 free counseling services. No matter what age, each session is tailored to their specific need.

“For a 3-year-old, it might be a game about relaxation, or it can be just different hands-on activities whereas maybe a teenager we can sit down, we can talk about the day, what’s going on with school.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year. Experts say this is likely an underestimate because many cases go unreported.

Marissa Rasak works with Small Talk and says that’s why advocacy centers are so important.

“Being here is impressive enough,” said Marissa Rasak. “You do matter and we’re here to make sure that you feel that way as well.”

Chalton says with counseling kids receive the tools to become their own counselor. Ultimately finding strength in their healing.

“I think children can learn to be very resilient and paired with counseling and familiar support, I think it absolutely is possible to be able to carve a new normal and to be able to heal from past experiences,” said Chaltron.

Healing and growing into a healthy adulthood. If you or someone you know is in need, reach out to your local law enforcement or for more information.

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