Nationally, approximately 29% of women—nearly one in three—have experienced physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. Last year there were 17,667 domestic abuse-related 911 calls. In 2014 17 Minnesotans were murdered in a domestic-violence related incident. Beyond the risk of injury or death as a direct result of domestic violence, there are numerous adverse health outcomes as a result of the chronic stress of insecurity. These can include cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, and chronic pain.
Our therapy team works to address the mental health issues that result from experiencing domestic abuse, which often include anxiety, depression, PTSD, suicidal thoughts, sleep disturbances, and emotional detachment.
How It Works
DAP’s Women’s Team offers group and individual therapy sessions to adult female survivors of domestic violence. The typical group is small—about 10 participants—and 16 sessions long. There are rolling entry points, which means that the women are often in varying stages of process and healing. Each session is led by trained professionals, is organized topically, and is psycho-educational, incorporating both traditional educational styles and processing opportunities. This is in contrast to other programs for survivors, which can offer the support of a community of survivors, but not the healing that comes from therapeutic intervention.
The Women’s Program services are available on a sliding-scale, according to income, and all sessions include free childcare.
The Yoga Project
Three years ago DAP began a research project to test an exciting new method of therapy for survivors of domestic violence called “mind-body healing.” Several studies have shown that yoga-like movement reduces mental health symptoms associated with perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. DAP began to work collaboratively with researchers to develop a trauma-sensitive yoga curriculum to incorporate into the women’s therapy and aftercare groups.
The research project, now in its third stage, is an improvement upon—and natural extension of—the breathing exercises and meditation already used in DAP’s therapy programs, but with more intentionality, better space and props, and the expertise of a professional yoga instructor. And the early results are promising. Women who have participated in the yoga research project have reported an improved image of themselves and improved feelings of wellness. “I didn’t have to leave the meeting with anxiety,” says one DAP participant. “I was able to leave it on the mat.”
To speak with someone about the Women’s Program, or to get signed up today, call First Call!
612.874.7063 | 10:00am-4:00pm Monday-Friday