One might ask what taking 12 teenage boys to a Boston Celtics game has to do with treatment? Short answer: EVERYTHING! On Friday February 9th, the Boston Celtics welcomed the Bellcate Bulldogs to the TD garden to watch the Celtics face off against the Indiana Pacers. This is Bellcate Basketball’s 3rd annual Celtics trip and the therapeutic value of this trip for our students is life altering. Of the 12 students participating this year, a few had never been out of Vermont, a couple had never been away from home for a night, and another handful had never participated in a school sponsored trip of any kind with classmates. The Celtics trip is a game changer from the time the trip is announced in late fall until Bellcate players and their coaches all file into the awe inspiring TD Garden to meet NBA players court side before the game.
“Fostering Therapeutic experiences is at the heart of our model,” states Director, Jesse Bell.
Current neuroscience research and evidence makes a clear link between therapeutic moments and healing the brain. For students with challenging beginnings that results in challenging thoughts, feelings and behavior, supported participation in a trip like Boston is invaluable. So what is the therapeutic recipe of Celtics Therapy?
- Healthy anticipation
- Thinking and planning towards a positive short term goal
- Learning and meeting expectations to participate
- A sense of acceptance and belonging
- Increased Responsibility and teamwork
- A sense of imagination and wonder
- Perspective taking
- Shared celebration
- Shared reflection and
- Creating positive memories.
This year’s Celtics Trip was a therapeutic treasure. Student’s reflected their most cherished moments in the van ride on the way home…
“My favorite part was cheering for the Celtics so loud with all of my friends.”
“I have never seen buildings that big and beautiful. I wasn’t even focused on my snacks because I was eating up the view.”
“I loved the street drummer we saw. He was doing so much musically with so little. I felt inspired.”
“I loved staying at the hotel. I was scared to do it at first but after the game I fell right asleep and didn’t wake up until morning.”
“An experience like this is something we can build on therapeutically for months to come,” explains Bell.
Healthy new experiences are key to new connectivity in the brain. This new brain activity is truly a difference maker in fostering genuine healing and change.