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circus arts therapy ®


Below are answers to the most common questions we get from day to day. For questions regarding Circus Arts Therapy that are not answered below, please contact Carrie at 404-549-3000.

What is Circus Arts Therapy?

Circus Arts Therapy is for people of all ages, including children three and older, pre-teens and teenagers with social, emotional, and physical challenges including attention difficulties, hyperactivity, sensory issues, low self-confidence, difficulty interacting socially, and children who have trouble in large groups. Participants will have a chance to utilize circus equipment to gain physical skills as well as learn important social skills such as teamwork, cooperation and self-confidence in a fun & safe environment. Carrie Heller, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist, also works with adults, couples and families in the Circus Arts Therapy room. Small Group Circus Arts Therapy sessions are available throughout the year. Both of these programs are for children ages 5-17.

Carrie Heller’s approach in her Circus Arts Therapy comes from over 20 years of working with both typical children and those with learning differences, both inside and outside of the therapy room. In her therapy work she assesses a child's physical capabilities and designs a series of activities using the circus equipment for each child to work on, one on one, as well as with the group, thus attending simultaneously to other emotional and social aspects of the child's development.

Are Circus Arts Therapy programs safe?

Yes! Our Founder is known throughout the circus community as a "safety police.” Safety is our number one priority, and our instructors are all professionally trained with a focus on safety.

What skills will students learn at Circus Arts Therapy?

Children will learn a variety of the following activities:

  • Low trapeze
  • Soft rope climbing
  • Buddy and team walkers
  • Triple trapeze
  • Bubble blowing
  • Juggling scarves and balls
  • Hula hooping
  • Balance boards
  • Crash cushion jumping
  • Tightwire walking
What skills will my child develop at Circus Arts Therapy?
  • Bilateral coordination skills
  • Muscle strength (including core muscles)
  • Brain and body balancing
  • Self-esteem
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to overcome fears
  • Communication with peers
  • Balance and flexibility
  • Focus and attention
  • Social timing
  • Listening
For what ages are Circus Arts Therapy designed?

Our therapy groups are designed for children ages 5-15. Individual, family and couples Circus Arts Therapy is available for all ages.

What is the teacher to student ratio?

Depending on the specific needs of the students, the ratio will be one staff member for every two to three students. All sessions will be taught by a team including Carrie Heller, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist, and circus arts professionals. When warranted, the ratio may be decreased to one teacher to one student. In this case, additional fees may apply.

Are siblings welcome to attend therapy sessions?

Yes, we are happy to include siblings and family members in therapy sessions.

Do you accept insurance?

Although we do not process insurance claims, we will provide receipts that can be turned into insurance providers for reimbursement. Since insurance coverage may vary by plan, please contact your provider and ask if CPT codes 90791, 90853, 90834, 90846, and 90847 are covered by your plan (and how often).

When do Small Group Circus Arts Therapy sessions take place?

Sessions are based on the school calendar, and are available August-December and January-May. Also, a weekly summer session has also been added. Registration remains open throughout the session as long as space is available. Current group offerings are:

  • Wednesdays, 3:25 - 4:15 PM ages 5-9
  • Wednesdays, 4:35 - 5:35 PM ages 11-15
  • Thursdays, 3:25-4:15 PM ages 5-8
  • Thursdays, 4:35-5:35 PM ages 8-12
What is required to enroll in therapy groups?

Because of the physical nature of this therapy, all clients must be reliably potty trained. In order to join a social group, a child must be of the physical or mental ages of the appropriate therapy group, unless an exception is made by Carrie. Also, to join a group, the child must not have displayed aggressive behaviors towards others in the past 12 months; although Carrie will work on an individual basis with children who are displaying aggression to help decrease the aggressive behaviors before enrolling in group.

How do I register for Circus Arts Therapy?

Contact Carrie via phone at 404-549-3000 to register. Initial consultation required before joining a Circus Arts Therapy Small group. Tuition is payable by cash, check or credit card. Please do not email to register. Due to HIPAA regulations related to patient protected health information, we cannot communicate confidential information via email.

Who is the Circus Arts Institute Director, Carrie Heller?

Carrie is the Founder and Director of the Circus Arts Institute. She has been teaching circus fitness and practicing therapy in Atlanta since 1988. She is a professional trapeze artist, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Play Therapist with over 40 years experience in circus arts. She has trained the trainers at Cirque Du Soliel’s outreach program, Cirque Du Monde, and she also founded the successful Atlanta Circus Camp, now in its 25th summer. For more information about Carrie, click here.

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