[KHTS] – Action Family Counseling is offering a new treatment for teens and families looking to help themselves, courtesy of a partnership with Remo drums, with support from the Action Family Foundation.
“We’re trying to get them used to doing any kind of fun and exciting thing that isn’t drug- or alcohol-related,” said Cary Quashen, founder of Action Family Counseling.
“There’s many things that they can do and have a great time that are clean and sober,” he added. “Everyone knows it takes a village, and this is just one more piece of it.”
The drum therapy program is something that Remo Inc., a renowned drum and percussion company for more than 50 years, developed as part of its HealthRHYTHMS program, which is overseen by Alyssa Janney, Health Rhythms manager for Remo.
“The Action Family Foundation funds children in our community that can’t afford rehab,” said Jeri Seratti-Goldman, KHTS co-owner and board member for the Action Family Foundation.
“The foundation supports the Action Family Zone, and funds the TIDE program, an upcoming Sober High School program and ‘The Experience,’ a driving vehicle that provides interactive experiences meant to discourage teens from unsafe driving practices,” she said.
Action and Remo’s partnership began as a conversation between Janney and Seratti-Goldman, Janney said.
“Jeri and I were talking and she mentioned what was going on at the center, and I said I’d love to get the program over there, because it would help them achieve their goals,” Janney said.
These programs are aimed at one of the main goals of Action Family Counseling, which involves changing the thinking process for teens who walk through the door, Quashen said
“These are really great kids and we want to help them make better choices,” he said. “They are already hardwired in with a lot of negative stuff, and we’re trying to re-wire them right now to a better spot. If we can change their thinking, then everybody’s a winner.”
Antonia Bouyer, a therapist who’ll be leading some of the drum therapy, is a licensed marriage and family counselor volunteering her time to help at Action, Janney said.
“In a nutshell, there’s a neuroscientist (Barry Bittman), who believes that drumming is not just good for the soul, but good for the body,” Bouyer said. “It helps to decrease the stress, mood is enhanced, there’s more of a connection with the people who you’re drumming with, and there’s a connection with the immune system.”
Bouyer will be working with the teens in the drum therapy to create an atmosphere that allows them to increase peer bonding, become more open to experience and have fun, too.
Based on her experience, both personal and professional, it helps to alleviate the anxiety that can be associated with working through problems, and life, Bouyer said.
“There’s so much competition in this world to be someone other than who you are. There’s so much pressure,” Bouyer said. “In this particular instance, there is pressure to be someone greater than who you are. And I like the process of getting into the moment.
“And so there is something about that, where you are really present and you get to just be and show that you are enough – not what do I have to be, or what do I have to put on,” she said.
Remo developed the program with Bittman about 12 years, said Janney, who has managed the program for Remo since 2004.
“The message is really simple: Remo is for our youth,” Janney said. We believe that they all have value and can contribute positively to our community, and we believe this tool gives them an opportunity to express themselves and get the support that they need to be our future leaders.”