Denise and her daughters got involved with Family Services of NW PA nearly two years ago. They had experienced several traumatic events, including mental, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. The impact of these events had started to affect their day-to-day lives and made it difficult for them to function as a family. "They're children and they're scared," said Denise. "And sometimes kids don't want to talk about the ugly stuff that happens."
Denise's daughters struggled with school, friendships, and relation hips. At home, the relationship between Denise and her daughters also started to deteriorate. "Daily life became hard because of all the struggles that we went through," said Denise. "Those were the defining moments where we realized we needed help."
Denise reached out to the Family Services of NW PA Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic for help and was quickly referred to Jordan, a therapist in the Clinic. Denise and her daughters instantly connected with Jordan and continue to see her nearly two years later. "My kids just love Jordan," said Denise. "Rather than trying to tell them what they felt, Jordan was actually hearing what they were feeling, and that made them feel comfortable. She just went above and beyond for them."
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based practice that helps children who have experienced traumatic life events. With Jordan's help, Denise and her daughters made great strides. "We reached a point where I can now talk to my kids and have these deep, intense conversations that I wasn't able to have before," said Denise.
In addition to receiving services through the Clinic, Denise and her daughters also received support at home through Functional Family Therapy (FFT), another evidence-based program offered at Family Services of NW PA. FFT is a short-term treatment program that works with the family to identify risks and implement positive changes.
Jess, a therapist in the FFT program, visited Denise's home two or three times each week to spend time with the family and offer additional support. "When those really heavy conversations would happen with Jordan, we had Jess there to help us get through the week," said Denise. "We learned lots of fun coping skills as a family that helped us work through things."
The combination of support from TF-CBT and FFT has helped to strengthen Denise's family in many ways. As they focus on moving forward together, they continue to express gratitude to the staff at Family Services of NW PA who have been a part of their journey. "If anyone is looking for help for them or their children, I would tell them to call Family Services," said Denise. "This is where they need to go."