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Drumming Therapy Helps Children in Crisis

Drumming Therapy Helps ChildrenHealth and Human Services majors present study of how drumming helps fragile children in crisis make breakthroughs in their treatment.

One beat at a time, children served by the Alexander Youth Network are making strides in their treatment through a therapeutic drumming program.

The Youth Network is North Carolina's leading provider of children's behavioral healthcare and serves young people from families in crisis through residential and outpatient programs.

A group of Tau Upsilon Alpha students who are Health and Community Services majors at Queens visited the children to learn about the benefits of therapeutic drumming. Led by student Mary Smith, who also works at the Youth Network, they gave a presentation at the Southern Organization of Human Services Conference. Smith said drumming helps regulate the children's heartbeats, improves their social skills and elevates their mood.

More than 55 students are enrolled in the Human and Community Services major at Queens.  The interdisciplinary program focuses on prevention as well as remediation of social problems and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations. Students develop a deeper understanding about factors that influence individuals and groups served in the community and work with people served through group homes, community health centers, correctional facilities, children's service agencies and other service organizations.

The major is growing in popularity as Queens students decide to pursue careers that carry forward Queens' motto - To Serve, Rather Than to be Served.

"For traumatized children who are often in a mental state of high alert, drumming provides a form of focus that gives them a sense of empowerment in treatment," said Dr. Karen Neal, assistant professor of psychology and mentor to the Queens group.
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