A time to silently reflect on any struggles, difficult thoughts, feelings or other obstacles they encountered throughout the day, as well as what they hope to achieve today.
hits by heroes
A therapeutic program, allowing Veterans to work through trauma and related issues by expressing themselves through songwriting. We will discuss songwriting techniques and musical forms, as well as lyrical forms.
Soldiers will be free to talk about their experiences, struggles and triumphs, and will be encouraged to express them in a poetic way as lyrics to songs. Lyrics will be set to songs with the assistance of the instructor.
All songs written in class will have copyrights with the Library of Congress. The copyrights will be owned by the class attendees and the instructor.
All songs will be recorded using a Digital Audio Workstation (computer based recording software), such as Garage Band or Logic ProX. CD copies will be given to attendees. Mp3s can be emailed to them as well.
Collaborative songwriting helps decrease PTSD and depressive symptoms.
An ancient Indian discipline involving pranayama (breathing), mudras (hand positions) and asanas (body postures). Yoga has been shown to reduce physiological arousal in people with PTSD.
Winsome Riding Academy
Winter & Summer Sessions
Please note that your doctor is required to complete paperwork in order to participate.
Winsome is fully handicapped accessible and sports an indoor ring for use all seasons.
This horsemanship program includes introduction and safety review, focusing on grooming and fun
groundwork activities and exercises.
Wild Hearts Horses for Heroes
West Bridgewater, MA-
Offered Fall & Spring Sessions
Please note Wild Hearts requires proof of COVID vaccination.
Wild Hearts is not handicapped accessible. Due to safety reasons, Wild
Hearts is not ale to accommodate participants who are non-ambulatory.
1a. Horse Care Management: Through observation, discussion and hands-on activities,
participants will learn how horses function in their natural living conditions including
feeding habits, herd interactions, and flight instincts. We’ll learn the basics of horse
biomechanics and movement, and how humans can safely interact with horses through
grooming and the use of basic tools such as a halter and lead rope.
1b. Correlating Life Skills: By caring for a horse, students will have the opportunity to
reflect on their own attitudes toward care for themselves and their sense of self-worth.
2a. Safe interactions: Students will have the opportunity to expand on their knowledge
gleaned from “Horse Care Management,“ for deeper understanding of how to safely
work with horses by respecting a horse’s prey-animal instincts such as “flight” and
hypervigilance. We’ll learn how our actions are interpreted by the horse and affect their
ability to feel safe.
2b. Correlating Life Skills: By learning respect for a horse’s instincts, students will have the opportunity to reflect on their own congruence between their feelings and actions.
3a. Body Language & Communication: Building on “General Horse Care Management” and “Safe Interactions,” students will learn more about how to effectively communicate with horses based on how horses communicate with each other. We’ll learn how a horse’s five senses differ from ours, how to read, horse body language and how our body language affects the horse.
3b. Correlating Life Skills: By learning how to communicate with horses, students will have the opportunity to reflect on their ability to communicate effectively and develop connections with those around them.
4a. Leadership for Partnership: Expanding on skills learned in “Communication & Body Language, ” students will learn to establish themselves as both a leader and a partner when working with horses by observing herd behaviors and hierarchy. We’ll learn to be Clear, Concise, and Confident to facilitate successful communication with a horse.
4b. Correlating Life Skills: By establishing a deeper understanding of how horses communicate within the herd, students will have the opportunity to reflect on how they communicate and identify with their, “own herd,” (friends, family, etc…).
Winsome Riding Academy
5a. Trail & Obstacles: Pulling from the horsemanship skills learned throughout the program, students will learn more complex horse handling including in-hand agility, and trail class challenges. We’ll learn how to use clear communication to facilitate a successful partnership on the trail and help horses positively respond to obstacles and unfamiliarity.
5b. Correlating Life Skills: Through the use of effective communication to help the horse respond positively to unfamiliarity, students will have the opportunity to reflect on their attitudes toward goal setting, accomplishment, relationship building, and self-esteem.
Please note Wild Hearts is not handicapped accessible.
An ancient Chinese martial art, using slow, circular, continuous movements. Connection between mind and body is necessary to complete each form precisely before transitioning to the next form. Research has evidenced physical benefits, such as improved balance. Some studies have shown a reduction in Veterans' PTSD symptoms of intrusive recollections, poor concentration and physiological arousal.
A cooking demonstration will be led by a local chef, meal included. Cooking demo will be held in a ServSafe certified kitchen. Recipes will be given to participants at the end of each class.
Discussion groups will focus on coping with trauma.
Discussion will ensue regarding trauma and its effects on the brain and the body and its impact on relationships, explaining trauma-related issues (e.g., anger, avoidance, sleep problems, etc.) and identifying healthy ways to cope.
Different types of meditation will be explored and practiced. Examples of types of meditation:
1. Mantra-silent repetition of a word or phrase, which helps reduce PTSD symptom severity and insomnia.
2. Metta (loving-kindness)-brings awareness and directs positive energy towards people in your life, which helps decrease anger and increase positivity and compassion
3. Guided imagery-evokes mental imagery, stimulating or re-creating the sensory perception of sights, sounds, feelings, etc.
Art classes may include painting and woodturning. The arts offer healthy ways to express your emotions. They may also help you to remain in the present moment.
A time to reflect on what they may have learned during the day from the groups and about themselves; to evaluate if they were able to meet their goals for the day; and share with each other.
Those who choose group therapy after completion of the 4 week program will be engaged in cognitive behavioral methods of learning about one’s own feelings, thoughts and actions and how these affect one’s interactions with others within their families and communities; and learning ways to improve communication skills. This group is also helpful for those who are recently transitioning from military to civilian life.