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The Aroma-story of CaraCare

Sharen Turner - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How children heal from the effects of abuse and trauma and how aromatherapy helps along the pilgrim’s path.

Recovery from trauma takes children and their families on a journey through many parts of the leaning process. This journey is not one of measured, straight forward steps. It is a trek of many twists and turns. What is certain is that the children who embark on this journey need all the support we can give them. They need the adults in their lives to fully understand and honour the uniqueness of who they are and what they require for their healing.
A large part of this understanding is for adults to realise that children are complete and whole beings despite the small number of their years.
The wholeness of being a person relates to the interconnectedness of the physical, emotional, spiritual, cognitive, social, sensual and sexual.

Children like the adults reading these words are a sum of all these parts, each working together in unison to form whom they are. Children are also part of and effected by family, society and the natural world. They belong in and off these contexts.

This process of connecting with the whole child does not always happen as a planned activity, it happens within the ordinary, the ordinary of the everyday session, being open to all the possibilities of life and therapy and who the child is as a person.

Being open to this whole of body approach recognises the significance of the sense to the healing process. Van der Kolk  the renown trauma expert points out that ‘Typically, the younger the child, the more the recollection is confined to a single image, sound, or smell, usually representing the action most associated by the child with immediate threat or injury,’ ( Van der Kolk 1996:349).
This is why CaraCare and Secret scent have come together and from the wisdom and creativity of Sharen the CaraCare smell was born.

PROTECTION (Frankincense)

The healing journey for a child who has been abused must always start with safety. No trauma can be processed, no meaning found in struggle, no discovery of the beauty of who are your despite the abuse can be released unless protection is in place.

NURTURING (Lavender)

When a child is protected from abuse and harm they can nurture themselves and be nurtured by others. From within the safety of nurturing carers and environment children can start to step away from all that the abuse did to hold them back. The fears, the anxiety, the emotional wounds can be soothed in this sanctuary of safety.

LETTING GO (Chamomile)

From the protection and nurturance of family, friends, therapist and community children can start to break free from the effects of abuse. They can be helped to remove the self-limiting or negative practices that abuse imposed upon them.

RELEASE (Bergamot)

When children have the opportunity to be assisted to remove the negative impacts of abuse they can release all the repressed emotions that block their vital life force. They can find themselves again and regain their belief in themselves and people around them. With this regained confidence they can fully participate with their world. They are free to ‘be’.

JOY (Mandarin)

With this freedom ‘to be’ comes a great joy and sense of calmness. The burden of the effects of abuse is lifted. Life becomes filled with the wondrous awe, beauty and joy that the gift of childhood bestows. Joy brings with it not only a sense of fun and happiness but increased mental and physical health.

It does not take an expert to realize that children love to have fun, but it does take professional confidence to bring fun into the counselling room, especially when talking about such grave matters as trauma.


With joy filling a child’s world where struggle once was children can move forward and embrace all that life has to give. They can make choices from a place of hope for the future and leave despair behind.
It is commonplace for adults to ask, and children to volunteer information on, what they want to be when they grow up. Most children, from the age that they realise that they will be ‘big one day’, love to engage in’ When I grow up I will….”- talk.

It is important for counsellors to have this future orientated theme in their work. It allows for children to see life without counselling, allows them to see a time when they will not have the problems they are currently coming to counselling for, and it can also allow for solutions to be found for current problems.