WayMaker Child Therapy is a Christian-driven, not-for-profit organisation committed to providing Play Therapy for children who are suffering from trauma or distress.
The services it provides are available for young people in the 3-16 age bracket. Having established the business as a Community Interest Company, Eileen Russell is committed to helping any child who needs it, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
Revealing her heart for the project, Eileen said: “I grew up in a loving Christian home in the Kells countryside, but my dad had a very severe mental illness, and he still does. That experience gave me real empathy and passion to help children with mental health difficulties.
“I have always loved children and because of my own childhood experiences and the fact that my own child started to struggle with their mental health as well, I started to look into Play Therapy.”
After many years working in the public sector, Eileen received a clear call from God to undertake a post-graduate qualification in Play Therapy and set up her own business.
The Lord revealed the name for this new enterprise at a Women’s Conference where the worship leader sang ‘Way Maker’ by Leeland. The lyrics ‘Way Maker, miracle worker, promise keeper’ spoke to Eileen about the direction her life was to take.
Within a week of handing in her notice at work, Eileen found that she was fully booked with appointments for the next three months. It soon became apparent that many children and families needed the help she offered but were unable to pay. This realisation prompted Eileen to register WayMaker Child Therapy as a not-for-profit initiative, which is funded by a unique WayMaker clothing range. Eileen has also just launched a new suite of training for professionals called the Healing Power of Play to help children’s practitioners to understand children’s trauma deeper and use playful techniques to provide meaningful connections.
All of this is done with the aim of offering non-conditional, non-judgemental love, support and hope to hurting children and their families.
Eileen adds: “I see the children who are on the outside of society, who are labelled and who have lost hope. I have all the hope in the world for them because God moves through me for those children.
“For many of them, their trauma begins in the womb or at birth and their body remembers that. In Northern Ireland, many people experience generational trauma because of ‘the troubles’; everything we go through as individuals is remembered and held in our innermost being.”
She went on to stress that through Play and Creative Arts Therapy the aim is to see the world through the eyes of the child and to equip them with the tools to be the child God intended them to be.
“I feel like for me as a Christian that the enemy goes hard after our children because if he distorts their identity as a child then he does not have to worry about them when they grow up. I go hard to reset that God-given identity; to override the enemy’s efforts.”
Eileen concluded by saying: “I do work secularly but with every child I sit beside I pray. I pray protection over them, that everything that had happened to them will be cleared. I pray that they will have crazy God encounters for their lifetime and that they get reset into the true identity that God has called out in them.”
To find out more about WayMaker Child Therapy, log on to: www.waymakerchildtherapy.co.uk or search for WayMaker Child Therapy on Facebook and Instagram