Reaching HOPE

The Reaching HOPE rotation gives interns the opportunity to gain experience conducting trauma therapy with children, teens, parents, families, and front line workers who have survived complex trauma, such as childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, homicide, foster care, and other interpersonal traumas. Interns will be trained in a phase-based model for treating complex trauma in family systems. Interns will join a dynamic group of psychologists who tackle intergenerational trauma with a team approach—the whole family system is seen by the whole treatment team (everyone with their own individual therapist). Interns will provide individual, family, and group therapy to clients (ages two-75+).  Family and group therapy sessions are co-led with other team members.

Reaching HOPE is a 501(c)3 non-profit located in Commerce City whose mission is to provide compassionate mental health services that support trauma survivors in ending the intergenerational cycle of violence. Clients are typically referred to Reaching HOPE by police departments, victim advocates, child advocacy centers, and human services after a crime has occurred. Reaching HOPE believes families heal best when they have the support of safe loved ones. As such, the whole family (excluding any offenders) is encouraged to attend the first intake appointment and meet our treatment team to collaborate on services for everyone in the family.

Funding for therapy services comes from a combination of grants, contracts, and Crime Victim Compensation. Most clients are with us long-term and, therefore, interns can expect to provide services to clients for nine+ months. Interns will also co-lead various trauma recovery groups; depending upon need, these may include a multi-family group for childhood sexual abuse, age- specific coping skill groups for children and adults, and sexual assault or domestic violence recovery groups.

Didactics within Reaching HOPE focus on understanding the systems trauma survivors interface with, trauma treatment, the oppression that exists for our clients and for ourselves, and the roles we play in dismantling racism and other forms of oppression. In part, this includes a focus on having a holistic approach to wellness, including a healthy work/life balance which starts with all team members working 10 hour work days in order to reduce travel time and days spent at work. This means that our interns can choose between having three Fridays (or another day each week) off per month or working only for a couple of hours one day every week. Additionally, we have quarterly team connection days and several opportunities for connection and laughter with one another.

Due to billing requirements, interns must hold a Master’s degree - though, it does not need to be a terminal degree.

  1. Intakes: Interns will co-conduct intakes of families with the treatment team. Intakes include screening for appropriate level of care, psycho-education on Reaching HOPE’s family systems model of treatment, administration and review of symptom questionnaires, and interviewing and assessment of relevant psychosocial, legal, and system factors.
  2. Treatment Planning: Interns will complete individualized treatment plans for clients that incorporate symptom questionnaire results and address both individual and family trauma recovery goals.
  3. Therapy: Interns will effectively use Reaching HOPE’s model for treatment of complex trauma in family systems, which integrates evidence-based practice for individuals and extends this to a family system.
  4. Interns will carry a caseload of 10 - 14 clients across all age ranges with a mix of primary and secondary victims for combined individual / family treatment
  5. Interns will co-lead 1-2 therapy groups. Group focus will depend on need, but will likely include a multi-family group therapy for trauma survivors.
  6. Documentation: Interns are expected to complete documentation of client visits in Reaching HOPE’s electronic health record system within the same business day.
  7. Additionally, Interns will have the opportunity to specialize in one of four tracks:

**Vicarious Trauma Prevention: facilitating and organizing wellness events and connection opportunities for other helping professionals with our Connected Cup program.

**Psychological Assessment: provide opportunity for providing in-depth, trauma informed psychological assessments to trauma survivors.

**Non-profit Management: building skills within the non-profit sector including grant writing and reporting, partner / relationship building and understanding the inner working of non-profit management.

Reaching HOPE specializes in serving survivors of complex, intergenerational, and relational trauma. The vast majority of clients are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, homicide, foster care placement, and race-based trauma. Typically, most families are referred to Reaching HOPE following an outcry of abuse that is reported to police or human services. Most clients at Reaching HOPE have no out-of-pocket expenses for treatment. There is a small percentage of self-referred and self-pay clients at Reaching HOPE that do not qualify for one of our grants, contracts or funding sources. Occasionally, clients with single-incident trauma such as car accidents, carjackings, or home-invasions will present for treatment as well. Reaching HOPE also provides psychological assessments, often for diagnostic clarity on complex cases.

Interns will be trained in a specific phase-based approach for treating complex trauma within a family system. Reaching HOPE’s model integrates evidence-based practice for individuals with complex trauma and extends this to a family system. Theoretical orientation integrates Structural Family Therapy, Attachment Theory, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, with a focus on meeting a client where they are and addressing client identified needs first.

Interns receive twice daily group supervision with the entire treatment team, run by a Licensed Psychologist. Additionally, interns receive individual supervision with 2 Licensed Psychologists, alternating weeks (one focused on adult and one focused on youth), meet with the Executive Director on a biweekly basis for Professional Development, and have one additional supervision on a weekly or bi-weekly basis dependent on their area of specialty. Informal supervision also occurs throughout the day with an open-door policy and debriefing on joint sessions.

Please see our website, for more information about our work and our team. 

Family Medicine (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue

Box F496

Aurora, CO 80045


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