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PALS (Peace: A Learned Solution)

The YWCA Union County PALS (Peace: A Learned Solution) Program offers creative arts therapy and counseling for children (ages 3-17) who have witnessed domestic violence in their homes. In addition, Case Management and Counseling are offered to the non-offending parent or guardian. Services are available in English and Spanish. Transportation services are offered to families enrolled in PALS, if needed.

PALS is a six month-long program, based on the hypothesis that children learn both violence and peaceful solutions through their experience. If they have learned violence by witnessing domestic abuse, they can be taught to relearn peaceful problem-solving through the therapeutic process. Participants (children and non-offending parent or guardian) must be free of abuse for a minimum of three months to participate.

Creative arts therapy is specifically designed for children and teens and is offered in four modalities; art, music and movement, drama, and play. The PALS Program offers individual and group creative arts sessions once weekly to participating children and youth. The use of creative arts has been shown to be more effective in treating trauma in children than verbal counseling alone. Though activities such as sand play, dance and movement, music, drama, and art therapy, PALS therapists help children express their emotions, reduce their fear and anxiety, teach them how to cope with stress, rebuild a sense of safety, and encourage non-violent problem solving skills.

For more information, call (908) 518-9911 ext. 210.