Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

This photo is a representation only.  It is not an actual client.
Today’s guest blogger is Janet Howard, a therapist at Hope House.

I have been a therapist at Hope House for eight years. About three years ago I discovered the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). In EFT, we use our fingertips and tap on specific meridian points to realign the body’s natural energy centers. This allows the memory to be healed, and the body’s energy to be realigned.

I know it sounds fantastic and something right out of a sci-fi movie, but believe me, if done correctly, healing from painful memories occurs in a matter of minutes.

Free from the emotional pain of the memory, the client can then reorganize their thought processes and move on with their life. Such was the case with Patty*. The first time I met Patty, she appeared to be afraid of taking up too much space. She sat in an almost fetal position.

She avoided eye contact and spoke so softly that I could barely hear her. She fidgeted with her fingers. Her fingernails were so short from biting them that they had scabs. Her eyes were lifeless. Her complexion was pasty, probably due to her latest overdose of medications.

She had been in psychological services since pre-adolescence, and had experienced domestic violence her whole life. Her hospitalizations for suicidal attempts were a normal part of her life. She practiced every type of self destructive behaviors I had ever known. Although she had spent years in therapy, she had never found lasting relief from her painful memories, or self destructive behaviors. She wanted to try EFT.

Over the following months we journeyed through her past and present, putting away old misery, pain, and fear-based ideas. Patty learned new healthy coping skills, and practiced EFT daily. She worked very hard to change, and save, her life.

Several months ago, as Patty sat in my office, we discussed how much she had changed her life. She had confidence and self love. She sat up straight, and had direct eye contact. Her eyes were clear and bright - full of promise and hope. She spoke with assurance and calm certainty. She could face life head on without fear.

She had outgrown her need for therapy in her life. She was enrolled in college, lived in her own apartment, and had a supportive group of friends. She had a future. She had a life.

*names have been changed

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Completion of Our Capital Campaign

In December 2009 the Kresge Foundation granted Hope House a $600,000 challenge grant for our Building Hope capital campaign for the construction and renovations to the Independence campus. To qualify for the gift, we had to complete the remaining fundraising for the campaign within one year.

We’re excited to announce that we have successfully satisfied the conditions of the Kresge challenge. This means that we have successfully raised $5,000,000 for our capital campaign and have completed the fundraising portion of the campaign!

The construction on the campus is well underway with the shelter and daycare renovations already completed. Work is underway in the Court and Legal Services Building as well as the Community Partnership Building. The new Therapy building (shown above) has the walls and roof in place so work will not be interrupted with any inclement weather.

Work is progressing along very well and we should be completed with all aspects of the campaign by spring of 2011. We will have a ribbon cutting and grand opening once the work is completed and weather is suitable for an outside gathering.

We are so appreciative of all of the support that we have received from the community that has allowed us to make these improvements so we can continue to provide quality services to our clients.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Demand is Rising

On September 15th Hope House once again took part in the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) Census. This is an annual count of adults and children who seek services from U.S. domestic violence shelter programs during a single 24-hour survey period.

In that same 24-hour period last year, the results showed us that Missouri programs:

  • served 2,033 victims.
  • provided 1,238 victims emergency shelters or transitional housing.
  • provided 795 adults and children non-residential assistance and services such as counselling and legal advocacy.
  • answered 515 hotline calls.
  • educated 1,410 people in prevention trainings.
  • turned away 416 requests for service. 
While the number served is truly amazing, in the entirety of 2009 Missouri programs had to turn away more people than they served due to lack of funding/lack of staff.

I suspect that when the numbers for the 2010 census are released in a few months the picture will be worse.  I am anticipating that we will see more turned away, more numbers served, and a greater demand for services.

Hopefully soon we will see a trend in the opposite direction that will find providers with enough funding to increase their capacity to meet the growing need.

If you want to learn more about the census and what is happening across the country, visit the NNEDV website at and click on projects. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

This month is an opportunity for programs that work with the issue of domestic violence to celebrate those who have survived, mourn those who have died, and increase the awareness of the issue.

It continues to amaze and sadden me that there are people in Eastern Jackson County who have not heard about Hope House and are not aware that the largest provider of domestic violence services in the state of Missouri is located within their community.

We still have a lot of work to do to make sure that everyone who is in need knows we’re here for them. This month is an opportunity for us to spread the word about what we’re doing and engage people in helping to stop the violence.

We’ll spend time at community events and health fairs, and with service organizations and businesses who give us the opportunity to talk about domestic violence and what we are doing to break the cycle.

If you have an opportunity to wear purple during the month of October to show your support of those who have been impacted by domestic violence, please do so. If you would like someone to speak to your group about domestic violence, let us know and we’ll be happy to be there.

As we raise awareness this month, we look forward to the day that we no longer lose a life due to domestic violence.