In one summer I moved 9 times in 2 1/2 months. As a foster child, I acted out quite a bit – and it had nothing to do with the personality that I had, it simply had everything to do with getting the attention that I needed. I met Marian at age 15, and that right there is the day that my life changed. I know for a fact right now that, without working with Marian I would either be dead or in prison. What was so powerful when Marian came on board and she introduced herself to my life is that she changed that stigma, she said look – "I’m willing to work with you, I can work with your parents. You don’t have to move and I’m not going anywhere."
As a consultant, it is both a privilege and an inspiration to observe the creative ways in which the therapists engage their Home Within patients. Patient rather than client or consumer seems a better word because patient is rooted in the idea of suffering and those who come to A Home Within are truly suffering. Many have found a home in their relationship to their therapist and this has contributed significantly to the relief of their suffering. Although hospitality rarely, if ever shows up in psychotherapy outcome studies, the rich hospitality our therapists offer their Home Within patients lays a rich foundation for the changes they facilitate.
Helping just one Home Within patient in need is rewarding on many levels; being with others in a consulting group helps us to see the magnitude of the effect when each one helps one. It has a ripple effect as one moves from being a bystander to an up-stander, a phenomenon that has been named "the Good Samaritan Effect”.
The therapists volunteering for A Home Within are grateful for the relationships and education that have placed them in the position to be helpful to those from the foster care system. Their gratitude has ripened into a generosity and a zest for living the life they have been granted and a commitment to foster that kind of life in those they are privileged to help.
In my experience, therapists from A Home Within provide the only consistent, long-term, caring relationships many of these children have ever had. Children in foster care often encounter a multitude of social workers, foster parents, lawyers, and judges, which adversely affects their already tenuous ability to heal, trust, and form healthy relationships. The children in my court who have been fortunate enough to have a therapist from A Home Within have demonstrated much more positive outcomes than those who have not had the benefit of such a relationship.
Through A Home Within, our daughter has experienced the stability, support, and commitment of a single therapist for the past 3-1/2 years – something we could never have imagined finding through the system or affording on our own. Dr. Mike’s time and dedication has not only been focused on [her], but he has been a tremendous support in helping us learn how to parent this wonderful child. We have two other fost-adopt children who are now on their own healing journeys with the help of A Home Within. You have two tremendously grateful parents who can’t thank you enough for your work and dedication.
I really enjoy the therapeutic process & relationship I have been able to establish with an outstanding teen and her family through this program. The family has been committed to the AHW resource & therapeutic process since day 1. It has been impactful to see the level of growth the client continues to achieve for herself. This program affords the opportunity for wonderful clients and their families to engage in a long-term resource that can help create and support great changes in a person’s life. I also appreciate our AHW consultation group. We have built a supportive, cohesive group that has helped not only our AHW clients, but us as professionals. It has been an incredible experience to gather with a small group of therapists and psychologists to consult and process our work, philosophies, and best practices to help one another help others.
Therapists in my local chapter definitely enjoy giving back to the community and benefit from participating in the consultation group. A Home Within is a tremendous asset to therapists who are seeking professional development and networking opportunities.