Reaching HOPE

 

The Reaching HOPE rotation gives interns the opportunity to gain experience conducting therapy with children, teens, parents, and families who have survived complex trauma, such as childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence. Interns will be trained in a phase-based model for treating complex trauma in family systems. Interns will join a dynamic team 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 2-75+).  Family and group therapy session 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, and child advocacy centers 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.

Families are eligible for Crime Victim Compensation, which covers the cost of therapy for approximately 3-9 months (with primary victims receiving longer treatment than secondary victims / family members). Interns may hold a small caseload of secondary victims for individual therapy and co-led family session. 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.

Due to billing requirements, interns must hold a Master’s degree.

Due to the sensitive nature of our client population, interns must also complete an initial screening/interview with site supervisors.

  1. Intakes: If intakes are scheduled on a day in which interns are present, interns will co-conduct intakes of families with the treatment team. Intakes include screening for appropriate level of care, psychoeducation 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.
    1. Interns will carry a small caseload (1-4) of secondary victims for combined individual / family treatment
    2. 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.
  4. Documentation: Interns are expected to complete documentation of client visits in electric health record within the same business day.

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, or homicide. Typically, most families are referred to Reaching HOPE following an outcry of abuse that is reported to police. This police report makes them eligible for Crime Victim Compensation, which covers the cost of therapy. As such, 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. Occasionally, clients with single-incident trauma such as car accidents, car-jackings, or home-invasions will present for treatment as well. Reaching HOPE also provides 1-2 trauma-informed psychological assessments per year, 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.

 

Interns will receive supervision with a Licensed Psychologist for at least one hour every week. Individual supervision will alternate weekly with Dr. Austin who supervises adult cases, and Dr. Born who supervises child cases. In addition, interns will receive group supervision on joint family cases for 30 minutes per day. Informal supervision also occurs throughout the day with the open-door policy of all 4 staff psychologists and debriefing on joint sessions.