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EAP

Navigating COVID-19 together

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Horsepower and Heroes logo of horse and U.S. flagUnderstandably, the novel coronavirus pandemic has many people concerned. As we all navigate the impact of COVID-19, we’ve made some decisions about events at The PEACH Pit to keep our visitors, therapists and clients safe.

We’re postponing the Horsepower and Heroes Retreat, scheduled for May 1-3; we’ll post here when we set the new dates for the retreat.

We’re also suspending group volunteer activities. We will continue to accept individual volunteers, and we’ll continue to see clients since the majority of our sessions are outdoors in open-air settings that maintain a safe distance from others. 

Meanwhile, here are a few tips to help you protect yourself physically and emotionally:

  • Limit your intake of media. Repeated exposure to the same stressful event can exacerbate your stress response. It’s good to stay in the know, but consider limiting your ingestion of news media, especially if you are starting to feel overwhelmed.
  • Take care of your body. Drink lots of water, eat healthy and continue with your normal exercise routine.
  • Make time to relax. With the news of any large scale adverse event, there is an inherent sense of urgency. We can get wrapped up the energy of outside actors (newscasters, politicians, fundraisers, etc.). Constant vigilance is not good for your body. To counteract it, use your relaxation coping skills like breathing, journaling or listening to music.
  • Talk about it. Connect with others about how you’re feeling and what concerns you have. Connect with them about other things, too. There’s no reason to stop living your life.
  • Take appropriate precautions to keep yourself healthy. Follow the CDC guidelines for prevention: Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face and avoid contact with people known to be sick. 

If you find that you are having a difficult time coping or that you are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out. Our counseling sessions can help, and you’ll be able to maintain a safe social distance, as well.

Video: Horsepower and Heroes Retreat news coverage

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This nonprofit organization is bringing a different kind of therapy to Central Georgia

By Taylor Drake, WMAZ

Published: 10:51 PM EDT May 6, 2019

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — At the end of a dirt road off of River Road in Fort Valley sits a farm with a few cabins, some horses, and a couple of stray chickens.

The land belongs to Gwendolyn Coley, the founder of The PEACH Pit. The Peach Pit, founded in 2014, is a nonprofit organization that works to provide equine assisted psychotherapy to people in Central Georgia.

“Horses are my heart,” says Coley. “I use equine assisted psychotherapy to help people but also work with horses.”

Horse therapy is an alternative for people who may not want to talk about their problems.

“Horses are naturally reflective,” says Coley. “You can talk to the horses if you choose to. They don’t speak any language that we truly understand, but they can help solve some of your problems.”

In addition to working with clients on an individual level, Coley and her team host retreats and events for groups.

Last weekend, The PEACH Pit hosted its third Horsepower and Heroes Retreat for women veterans. The three-day retreat means a lot to Coley, who is an Army veteran herself.

“Sometimes, we’re invisible. There are a lot of programs out there to help men. To have women come here and just be, we don’t get enough of that time,” says Coley.

At the retreat, women participated in several activities like meditation and yoga to relax and get in touch with themselves.

Coley’s organization gives back to the Fort Valley community, but has still remained a well-kept secret.

“Every time I accept a speaking engagement, people are like, ‘I didn’t know you were here!” Coley says.

With her equine therapy, Coley is also trying to de-stigmatize and therapy.

“That is one of our big goals,” says Coley. “There’s no harm in getting help — in fact, it can be helpful to get help.”

At the end of the day, Coley loves seeing clients improve with the help of her horses.

“We’ve had people come in with some really complicated stories,” says Coley. “They come here and start seeing results immediately. That amazes me every single time.”

To learn more about Coley and The PEACH Pit, you can visit their website or Facebook page.

We’ve been busy

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Spring has been busy for The PEACH Pit: We hosted three events from April 12 through May 3.

Whew!

A woman in jeans walks a black horse around an arena.
Participants select a partner and share a stroll around the arena.

First up was our Renew and Reconnect Retreat for women. Cathy Woods Yoga facilitated the retreat, which included physical and emotional parallels between yoga and horsemanship.

Next, we partnered with Minds-n-Motion to host the Fundamentals of Psychodynamic Equine Assisted Trauma Therapy training,

A black horse has its nose near a woman's nose. The woman has white hair.
A horse and a human connect

which became an international affair. The primary trainer, Ilka Parent, is from Germany, and her team came from Germany and Connecticut. We also had participants from Norway,  Alaska, Colorado, Tennessee and Georgia.

The training helped participants understand how trauma affects the brain and how horses can help clients process trauma.

Our Horsepower and Heroes Retreat for women Veterans was our best yet. For the third consecutive retreat, our facilitators returned: Demetria Cannady led the vision board session. Lisa Cummings, Air Force Veteran, led yoga. Laurie Reisman led meditation, mindfulness and Qi Gong. Donna Watkins and Paige Jobe facilitated the equine-assisted learning session. Donna also facilitated Accelerated Resolution Therapy sessions, and Lisa conducted Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy sessions.

Along with offering various nontraditional therapy models, we added Pounding, an aerobic activity that incorporates rhythmic drumstick pounding. Check out the video below with Leia Williams Hunley facilitating. 

Macon’s WMAZ covered that event.

Next up: the Peach-Quest Social Skills Summer Camp in July.

 

 

A basic need

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What’s the most important basic need: food, shelter, good physical and mental health, clothing?

If you had to give up one, which would it be? Many would keep food, shelter and clothing, until they absolutely had to focus on the health part.

What if you didn’t have to choose?

At The PEACH Pit, we believe good mental health is as basic a need as food, that no one should have to choose between any of the basic needs.

That’s why we’re a nonprofit.

We use an equity plan, giving everyone the opportunity to have a stake in their care:

  1. How much is your monthly income?
  2. How much are your expenses?
  3. What’s left?
  4. Of the amount that’s left, how much can you afford to pay each week for services – without financial strain?

Where does the fee balance come from?

Donations, grants, gifts all help us provide affordable mental health care to our clients who may struggle with the choice.

Please consider donating to The PEACH Pit. Every penny donated helps provide a basic need: mental health care.

Donate today.

Calling all federal employees

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Check out The PEACH Pit’s video for the Combined Federal Campaign Virtual Charity Fair to kick off the 2018 campaign. Please share with current and retired federal workers, and ask them to consider donating to us using CFC #27220.

The PEACH Pit (CFC #27220) is one of more than 20,000 nonprofit organizations worldwide approved to participate this year. Enter our CFC number on the following link to get more information: https://cfcgiving.opm.gov/offerings. Once on that site, donors can simply add us to their donation list.

One hundred percent of donations (ALL OF IT) goes to direct client care.

Video: Got a few minutes? Learn about us

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The PEACH Pit and Spirit’s Quest partner to provide equine-assisted psychotherapy, learning sessions, camps and demonstrations in Middle Georgia.

Four women sitting at a table in front of a bookshelf
Paige Jobe of Spirit’s Quest, second from left, and Gwendolyn Coley of The PEACH Pit, in green, discuss equine-assisted psychotherapy with the Georgia Post Review team. Click image to play (28:22).

The PEACH Pit in the news

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Don’t want to talk about your feelings? Equine-assisted therapy might be right for you

September 28, 2018 05:36 PM

Updated September 30, 2018 10:37 AM

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