Kindred Place is a source of refuge for families dealing with anger and violence; a place where they find hope, healing, and healthy relationships. Through trauma-focused counseling, group therapy, parent coaching, and education programs, Kindred Place works with children and adults who have been victims of violence, have witnessed violence, or who have acted violently within their own families.
“Some families live with both love and aggression inside their homes, and what we most often hear is that they just wish the aggression would stop,” said Jennifer Balink, executive director. “But family relationships are complicated, and ending the cycle of abuse isn’t simple. When a family is ready to get help, we can help.”
Most programs at Kindred Place take a two-generation approach to ending family violence, because children who live in violent homes are more likely to become either victims or perpetrators of abuse when they reach adulthood. Dealing with that trauma at an early age can help children in a variety of ways for years to come.
The Children’s Domestic Violence Program, or CDV, is a group therapy program for women who have left violent relationships and their children who witnessed or experienced abuse. Therapists work with participants in small groups for about 90 minutes each week for 12 weeks. There are two groups for mothers, one for English and one for Spanish speakers; and five groups for children based on age. Two main goals are healing from trauma and forming healthy relationships moving forward.
The Comprehensive Anger Management Program, or CAMP, is a whole-family program for teenagers who have exhibited aggressive behavior, most of whom are referred by school counselors or Juvenile Court. Similar to CDV, CAMP has multiple concurrent groups that also meet weekly for 12 weeks. Parents are in one room; teen boys, teen girls, and younger siblings have their own separate groups, too. Using the Strengthening Families curriculum, therapists help with relationships, emotional control and healthy ways to express feelings.
“Many people want to keep private family lives private,” Balink said. “and it takes a lot of courage to stand up and say, ‘My family could really use some help.’” We honor that courage, and wish it were the cultural norm. We want people to feel welcome and accepted here, no matter what brought them to our door. There’s no shame, no judgment. We understand that families are messy and complicated, and we’re here to help.”
In addition to CDV and CAMP, Kindred Place offers individual counseling, adult anger management, parenting classes, clinical assessments and supervised visitation.
Kindred Place is a nonprofit organization that depends on financial contributions of all sizes. Victim services are provided at no charge. All other programs are offered on a sliding scale. And while there aren’t many opportunities to volunteer, Kindred Place does provide about 100 internships every year to offer training to students in counseling and social work. For more information about the programs at Kindred Place or to donate, please visit kindred-place.org or call 901-276-2200.
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