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Heeling Hearts Program

An 8 session group therapy program for at-risk children shown to improve empathy, hopefulness and peer relationship

Our Heeling Hearts group psychotherapy program that incorporates the narrative of an animal’s life to help children coping with grief, loss, trauma and socio-emotional challenges has consistently demonstrated an improvement in participant’s sense of hopefulness.  In a collaborative study with Southern CT State University’s Department of Public Health, the group program demonstrated improved empathy and a positive trend in peer relationships in a group of teenagers attending an anger management group at a Connecticut technical high school. 

Thanks to our partnership with the Laura J Niles Foundation and the James H. Napier Foundation, Soul Friends received a community impact grant from the Annie E Casey Foundation to build up our group program for the children of New Haven.

Soul Friends, Inc is a nonprofit established in 2003 with a mission to provide innovative clinical and educational programs that promote the healing benefits of the human-animal bond and nature therapy for at-risk children.  In the last five years, Soul Friends has served over 5,500 children across the state. Services include the integration of nature and an animal friend in individual and group psychotherapy for children impacted by grief, trauma, loss and/or social-emotional challenges.