Vignette Report #1
University of San Francisco
Towards the east side of the San Francisco City has plenty of associations that put their heart into assisting those who survive or still suffering from domestic violence. If I were Tania’s therapist, I would recommended her to La Casa de las Madres even though this is just one of many associations in the area. Asian’s Women’s Shelter and Community United Against Violence are also around, which can be alternative options for Tania if La Casa de las Madres doesn’t work out for her. There are other shelters nearby if immediate housing is needed. I recommend La Casa de las Madres since each day throughout the whole year; they are available for victims of all ages who need help from domestic violence. They provide support services, such as counseling as the tools to help survivors rewriting their life stories. They also aim to prohibit inevitable brutality by informing the public and re-illustrating general impression about domestic violence. Not only does La Casa de las Madres works with females but also children and teenagers who are affected by the violence that they have separate phone lines for each groups.
Recommendation for the shelter
La Casa de las Madres offers an essential safety network for locals and those who are in need. They hold a strong voice and work as an advocate against domestic violence. The Drop In Center of this organization incorporates their obligation to supporting an inclusive continuance of care for those who survive and suffer from domestic violence. They not only support females and families emotionally and practically, but also assist them to recover from the trauma and conquer its influences on their lives at their Drop In Center (La Casa de las Madres, n.d.). They do not hesitate of providing free and confidential services, which include crisis response and intervention, safety planning and risk assessment, counseling and support groups according to their website (lacasa.org).
This is a very well developed organization that also has been named a “2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits Award based on excellent online reviews. Based on their website (La Casa de las Madres, n.d.), La Casa de las Madres provides support services that are comprehensive and continuum. The survivors are asking more than just a roof above their head, or simply some space to breath, or even to live a non-violence life. By emphasizing on strength-based support models, their programs assist the process of building safety and offer life-changing opportunities to recover from and bring domestic violence to an end. Not only they provide free and confidential service, but also open to all females, adolescents in different languages, specifically English and Spanish (La Casa de las Madres, n.d.).
According to A Systematic Review of Trauma-Focused Interventions for Domestic Violence Survivors (Warshaw, Sullivan, & Rivera, 2013), which is a study of different trauma-based treatments specifically designed for those who survive from domestic violence. Among them, I am most interested in one intervention by Crespo and Arienro (2010). It not only targeted on psycho-education of domestic violence and its influence on survivors, enhancing self-esteem, but also provides problem-solving skills to help independent living. They also accumulated septal breathing as part of the treatment, which is used as a way of decreasing hyper-alertness (Warshaw et al., 2013). The orientations happen to match with the services La casa provides that give me another reason to recommend Tania to visit this association if I cannot reach out to her in time.
Different from the treatment Crespo and Arienro designed, for Tania, I will make connection with her with individual sessions rather than group sessions. Although the eight 90-minutes group format has a superior intent that was intentionally to decrease the isolation many abused women felt, I would still like to build rapport with her first. One thing special about this research is that it particularly ruled out women with full clinical diagnosis of PTSD, which they received different treatment. The analysis was created to establish if the intervention benefits subjects with sub-threshold symptoms of PTSD or not. The researchers compared the two identical groups with one having exposure treatment as a part of the treatment. They worried that exposure therapy may not be effective for female experiencing domestic violence at present, or influence skills including anger management and self-expression (Warshaw et al., 2013).
Results of this research were convincing for both of the treatments. Symptoms of posttraumatic stress essentially dissolve within the beginning month after every treatment and it was continued throughout the year. During the first month post-treatment, depression and anxiety diminish noticeably, and with more recognizable differences in the exposure group. The most obvious divergence was in anger expression in between groups by the end of 12 months, which results were excelling for the exposure group. However, subjects do have higher educational levels in the Exposure group and more former experience with therapy sessions, which may have complicated the data. Furthermore, it will be the same therapist who is doing both interventions (Warshaw et al., 2013). Therefore, I would assess Tania whether she fits for exposure or communication treatment as my next step. Giving her psycho-education while establishing her self-esteem and allowing her to have a safe space to express her thoughts and feelings will be my plan, which I believe is suitable for Tania. I will also integrate problem-solving skills along with independent living techniques to empower her. It is also important to evaluate Tania if she has any symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Suffered or suffering from domestic violence is not just the only identity of these survivors. As a therapist, not only do we assist them to establish self-esteem, but also empower and give them skills to be independent. Just like treating every client, we share empathy, guide and listen carefully.
Crespo, M., & Arinero, M. (2010). Assessment of the Efficacy of a Psychological Treatment for Women Victims of Violence by their Intimate Male Partner. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 13(2), 849-863.
La Casa de las Madres. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lacasa.org
Warshaw, C., Sullivan, C., & Rivera, E. (2013). A systematic review of trauma-focused interventions for domestic violence survivors. Chicago, IL: National Center of Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health.