Mia's Story

July 12, 2023

Mia's Story

When a child is in crisis, so is the whole family. For many families caught up in the minutiae of day-to-day life, it can be overwhelming when the delicate ecosystem of a family unit is thrown off; at that point, it is necessary to ask for help. One of the benefits about JF&CS is our ability to tap into the expertise of many different professionals to help empower the lives of a family in different, and sometimes, unexpected ways. This is the mission of the Horwitz-Zusman Child & Family Center – a holistic approach to the mental wellbeing of children and their families.

Mia’s Story

Mia’s parents, Marissa and Scott, found themselves shaken and in need of help when their six-year-old daughter was sent home from summer camp due to emerging social anxiety.

“It was the end of school, camp started, and (Mia) was becoming very overwhelmed in large groups, and emotionally distressed. This led to her being sent home from camp several times,” said Mia’s mom, Marissa.

She was referred to clinician Sherri Cauthen, LCSW, play therapist at JF&CS by a friend for help and support. “Sherri met with Mia and helped her talk about what she was feeling through their play.”

“When I initially worked with Mia, she was anxious and slow to warm up,” said Sherri. “Gradually, she was able to say that she is brave and that she can do hard things and persevere, knowing that her parents would be there to support her.”

While her daytime anxiety issues improved greatly, Mia still struggled with separation anxiety at night. Sherri referred the family to her colleague, psychologist Ina Enoch, for family support.

“Ina helped us understand what Mia was feeling,” said Marissa.

“She gave us helpful guidance on how to deal with her separation anxiety. After several sessions, we started to see a ‘new’ Mia. Now, she is very confident in school. She’s happy, and she’s just like her old self, but better. For her to stay in her bed by herself now without any issues is so important, it’s like a weight has been lifted.”

“I’m so grateful for JF&CS. What they do every day has had a huge, huge impact (on our family),” she added.

“The mission of the Horowitz-Zusman Child and Family Center is to be able to meet the needs of every child and their families. So part of what the development of the center is to bring in therapists with expertise in all different areas. It’s a one-stop shop for families to be able to come here and have their needs met for their child as well as the rest of their family, “ said Ina.

Mia’s story is not unique; challenges find every family at some point. JF&CS is uniquely equipped to handle this by offering support for kids and their families, all under one roof. But this is only made possible by the generous support of our donors.

When you donate to you JF&CS, you empower lives – like Mia – and you strengthen our community.

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