A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the nonprofit Children’s Advocacy Center of Comal County’s (CACCC) new Canyon Lake Counseling Center is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
The facility is located at 18382 FM 306 Suite 103. The public is invited to attend. Food and drinks will be served.
CACCC Executive Director Trendy Sharp said the New Braunfels-based organization decided to open a Canyon Lake counseling center to provide a more convenient place for Canyon Lake families seeking counseling services for their children.
A family advocate and one fulltime, licensed professional counselor will work at the new office five days a week. Saturday hours are by appointment only.
CACCC provides child-friendly, non-institutional forensic interviews for children who allege abuse.
Children at the Canyon Lake branch will receive trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that accompany abuse.
Sharp said these symptoms can include significant depression, sleeplessness, anxiety and self-harm, all of which impact school performance.
“To monitor these we do a trauma checklist with every kid that comes in,” Sharp said. “Ninety percent of the kids who go through trauma-based cognitive behavior therapy have a significant reduction in those symptoms…you see kids bounce right back and that’s what we’re all about.”
The Canyon Lake office does not accept walk-ins. Counseling is only provided to children who have open cases with Child Protective Services. CACCC’s multi-disciplinary team reviews all candidates.
To qualify for these services, children must be verbal and between the ages of two to 17.
CACC conducts forensic interviews with between 300 to 500 children every year. Around 100 of those will qualify for counseling services.
The organization’s mission is to help abused children feel less scared, less intimidated and less confused by the system meant to protect them.