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CORNERHOUSE BLOG

CornerHouse Family Support Group and Family Services Updates

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We are eagerly preparing for our next round of Family Support Group here at CornerHouse! Support group is open for children, aged 5-12.5 years old, who have witnessed or experienced sexual abuse. Primary caregivers also participate in group to learn how to support their children through the healing process and receive support from other caregivers. Caregivers with children who are too old for group are still eligible to participate in the caregiver portion of group. There are many benefits to participating in this group and we consistently receive excellent feedback from the kids and caregivers who have participated. Kids tell us they like the group activities, enjoy meeting other kids with whom they can share their feelings, and feel more confident than before they started group. Many say they look forward to it each week!

Support Group will start October 1st and go through December 3rd. Group is held Tuesday evenings from 5:15-7:00pm for 10 weeks. Dinner is provided and childcare is available for non-participating siblings. The evening begins with dinner and a large group activity. Group members then split up into their assigned groups: kids go with their age-appropriate groups and caregivers go into their caregiver group. Caregiver groups are available in English and Spanish. A different topic and feeling is focused on each week with the content of the topics building as the weeks progress. Examples of some topics include: Abuse is not okay, Anger, Red Flags/Grooming, Safety, and Assertive Communication.  A variety of activities are used to facilitate the topics including discussion, artwork, short films, books, and role playing.

Anyone interested in participating in Family Support Group needs to complete the intake process which consists of two appointments if children will be participating in group, or one appointment if just the caregiver(s) will be participating. These intake appointments gather background information about the family and the abuse/trauma, as well as assess a client’s appropriateness for group.  We are scheduling intake appointments now so please call Tina Strong at 612-813-8342 to schedule an intake appointment or to get more information about CornerHouse’s awesome Family Support Group!

In July, three of the family services therapists — Inesa, Tina, and Kristen — attended a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) training by Dr. David Hong at Washburn Center for Children. TF-CBT is a directive and developmentally-sensitive intervention which incorporate several components: Psychoeducation, Parenting, Relaxation, Affective Identification and Modulation, Cognitive Coping, Trauma Narrative, Trauma-Narrative Reprocessing, In-Vivo Exposure (when appropriate), and Enhancing Safety. This modality culminates in the child sharing the trauma narrative with a supportive caregiver and a celebration and graduation from therapy. This milieu allows for creativity and strengths-based processing, and is a potential intervention for children between ages 3 and 17. These therapists completed 11 hours of online training and two days of in-person training, and they will have 12 monthly group consultations with Dr. Hong to be fully certified in the modality. Family services therapists will be utilizing TF-CBT along with Non-Directive Child-Centered Play Therapy which is ideal for children between ages 3 and 12.

CornerHouse now has two therapy rooms which are fully equipped for play therapy! This has provided increased capacity for more children and families to be served through therapy services. Recently, Thrivent Financial donated a play kitchen to our second play therapy office which was without a play kitchen! Items such as play kitchens are helpful for children to use as they utilize play as means for processing their trauma. Thrivent also packed a cupboard full of hygiene packs which contains items including shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Family Services give these hygiene packs to families at no cost. The Family Services department is grateful to all donors at CornerHouse who help make it possible to continue working with families in full capacity.

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