Reaching HOPE provides compassionate mental health services that support trauma survivors in ending the intergenerational cycle of violence. Reaching HOPE supports children, adults, and families in Healing from interpersonal trauma through Outreach to those currently impacted, Prevention efforts for those at risk, and Empowerment of those making the journey from victim to survivor. HOPE is found through individual, family, and group therapy services, parenting support, presentations and trainings, psychoeducation, and community partnerships.
Reaching HOPE aspires to protect future generations through empowering today's families to end the cycle of violence and strive for a safe and peaceful community.
When we (Ambra Born and Aubrey Austin) first met, we were working as therapists in a community mental health center. We thoroughly enjoyed their clients, but struggled with not being able to do the trauma work we had been trained to do. When we branched out and founded Reaching HOPE, it was with the express intent to continue working with trauma survivors, and do that work in a way that helped people heal and that felt rewarding and sustainable to us. While that focus has not changed, our therapy approach and our ability to reach far beyond those initial goals has drastically expanded.
When we first opened our doors, we were providing typical evidence-based trauma therapy services focused on individual healing of children, adolescents and adults. Among our very first individual therapy clients were the "Miller" children, a 5-year-old brother and 7-year-old sister who had been sexually assaulted by a cousin. They were brought to their weekly appointments by their mother, Ms. Miller, who consistently agreed to practice recommended interventions at home with her children to help them heal, though she continued to struggle with follow through. As the weeks went on, she cried, often panicky and a sense of overwhelmed--it was apparent that she too needed services. Once she began individual therapy and talked openly, complex layers of family trauma that existed underneath the surface began to emerge. We learned several important facts that gave new context for why this protective mother was so overwhelmed:
Her partner was perpetrating domestic violence in the home against her.
She had also been a victim of childhood sexual abuse by her grandfather.
She was at risk of losing her job due to absenteeism associated with the numerous court hearings.
Her relationship with extended family had become extremely tenuous because most had chosen not to believe her children's outcries of abuse-- instead, they blamed the victims for coming forward or minimized the sexual assault by saying that it was not severe enough to warrant legal consequences for the cousin.