In 2016, The Refuge Center achieved a number of significant accomplishments, including:
3) Promoted staff to new leadership positions with purposeful vision for continuing to develop our "attachment-based leadership" culture.
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There is so much to be thankful for as we close out our 11th year at the The Refuge Center for Counseling. This year has been one of blessing marked by growth and new territory for the organization. We kicked off the year by completing an expansion of our current space, which added several new offices and a much needed large group room. As a result, we were able to add several new staff, which enabled the organization to serve the community in new ways and in greater numbers than ever before.
As The Refuge Center continues to redefine what professional counseling looks like, the community is beginning to take notice. Early in 2016, The Nashville Predators Foundation chose The Refuge Center to be one of only four featured charities for the 2016-2017 season. More recently, the Center for Nonprofit Management recognized The Refuge Center with the Compassionate Care Award. These recognitions demonstrate the significance of the organization in the community as well as the innovative ways that The Refuge Center is addressing the need.
As the community becomes more aware of our organization, we continue to see the demand for our services grow. The board made a strategic decision in 2016 to build this awareness by investing in the development staff, and we are extremely encouraged by the opportunities that it will afford the organization as we move forward. In addition to serving the needs in our surrounding communities, we also understand that The Refuge Center has a vital role in supporting and equipping organizations across our state and beyond.
It is this vision that compels us to step boldly into what we believe the future of this organization is. We recently unveiled architectural renderings of the permanent home of The Refuge Center. It is this vision that guides our continued search for property and it is the basis for our upcoming capital campaign. The history of The Refuge Center is marked by the generosity of many in our community, and we will need all of you to be involved in seeing this vision come to reality!
I am so grateful and privileged to serve along with so many committed board members and the extraordinary staff of The Refuge Center. May God continue to bless and be honored by the work of this great organization.
By His Mercy,
Dear Refuge family, friends and supporters,
What does Refuge mean to you? That was the question that was recently asked of many of our clients, board members and staff. The answers we heard? Refuge means family, redemption, peace, presence, warmth, connection, and hope.
It has been an incredible year of blessing and growth here at The Refuge Center for Counseling! For us, 2016 was about faithfulness. The definition of faithful is being "loyal, constant and steadfast." We’ve felt especially called to being faithful to listen well to God’s vision for The Refuge Center, to being faithful to making the best possible decisions for the benefit of our clients and to being faithful to care well for our team and their needs. Being faithful is never easy but it does keep us aligned with what matters most.
We have an incredible Board of Directors who remained steadfastly focused in 2016 on six key strategic initiatives for our organization and this has allowed us to: expand community awareness of our services, achieve continued excellence in service delivery, deepen our culture of attachment-based leadership, increase engagement from top community leaders, strengthen our infrastructure, and take key steps towards a permanent home for The Refuge Center.
Our outstanding group of staff, post-master’s volunteers and interns have also invested deeply into this organization to see that our clients receive the best possible care and access to emotional healing. This year we saw a 16% increase in services from the prior year, having provided 15,533 counseling sessions for 2,126 individuals in 2016. Our clients came from over 80 unique referral sources, with the largest referral source being current and former clients. Our growing areas of service delivery are trauma therapy, counseling for children and teens, and family and relationship counseling. We strongly believe that no matter who are clients are, no matter what they have done or what has been done to them, no matter how much their income is or where they live- when they come to The Refuge Center they deserve to have the most excellent care possible with maximum opportunity for healing.
The Refuge Center is a place where many come broken-hearted. But we know that The Refuge Center is a safe place where stories are redeemed and hearts are healed. Transformation occurs here literally every hour that we are open. We are grateful for the ways that each of you are a part of The Refuge Center story and look forward to walking faithfully together into the future of this organization where we know God will do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or imagine!
Amy Alexander LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor
The Refuge Center for Counseling, Executive Director and Co-Founder
Short term achievements for therapists working with domestic and sexual assault survivors include education about the cycle of violence and about physical and emotional safety planning as well as increased knowledge about resources. It is our goal that 100% of clients will complete a physical and emotional safety plan within the first two sessions and will also have the opportunity to review the power and control week and cycle of violence.
Long term goals of The Refuge Center therapists who work with domestic and sexual assault survivors is to provide trauma-based, psychoeducational counseling where women are given opportunity to receive holistic therapy emphasizing education about healthy relationships and Self-leadership. These services offer opportunity to process trauma and increase self-esteem. This renewed self-efficacy has a systemic impact on culture and the community as a whole will be profoundly impacted by each woman who finds physical and emotional freedom. Educated survivors are able to reset the language of the culture. The degree of improvement is dependent on the survivor’s readiness and ability (from a safety perspective). It is out goals that 90% of clients that commit to more than 3 sessions will report that they have increased their awareness of the dynamics of domestic violence, will identify strategies for physical and emotional safety, and will engage in trauma-processing and self-discovery projects that promote empowerment. When using EMDR in trauma therapy success is measured by a SUD of 0, a VOC of 7, and a clear body-scan.
Evidence of success for us comes from client testimonials, referrals from current and former clients and increased education about power and control and safety planning. Specific measurements of success include use of the Likert Scale for treatment goals, client self-report (decrease of symptoms related to domestic violence and PTSD) and progress notes. When using EMDR in trauma therapy success is measured by a SUD of 0, a VOC of 7, and a clear body-scan. Additionally, as of January 2009 we have also begun implementing a program service evaluation which will track specific outcomes.
Short term achievements (based on one clinical session) for therapists working with children and families include gained confidence of decreasing symptoms and new knowledge of resources. We have found that over 93% of clients who come to an intake session have enough hope in emotional health and growth (gained from insight given by therapists) that they return for more services and further sessions.
Long term goals of The Refuge Center therapists who work with children is to increase overall emotional and mental health for the entire family system. The degree of improvement is dependent on the quality of care and the investment/motivation of the client and caregivers. Our long-term goal is that75% of parents/caregivers will report that their child has benefited from services and that they have observed behavioral improvements in at least two areas (ex: increased positive coping skills,ownership of choices, defining boundaries, active and non-violent engagement in play etc.)
Evidence of success for us comes from client testimonials, referrals from clients and decrease of symptoms in client cases. Specific measurements include likert scale (modified for accessibility for children - incorporates play therapy), and reports by parents/caregivers, children and teachers. Additionally, as of January 2009 we have also begun implementing a program service evaluation which will track specific outcomes.
Female, Age 33I personally have been no stranger to individual counseling. I appreciate the approach taken at The Refuge Center with their counseling methods and philosophy. I have been referred to The Refuge Center for both individual and family counseling, and am appreciative of their sliding fee scale, as it allows my family and I to do so.
Male, Age 35“The Refuge Center has been a godsend. When my wife and I began counseling we did it as a preventative measure due to many things we were dealing with or about to deal with in our lives. As our financial situation changed the sliding scale to helped us continue counseling. The thing I get most from our counselor is a positive feeling when I leave. She asks such great questions and always has a way of making me feel that I am doing a good job handling the situations in my life.”
Amy Alexander is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Refuge Center for Counseling. As the Executive Director, Amy encourages and supports practices that promote attachment-based leadership within the Refuge Center organization. This culture of compassionate care emphasizes the value of staff and clients alike feeling seen, safe, secure, and soothed.
Amy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been practicing for fifteen years. Her areas of clinical focus include trauma, domestic and sexual violence, grief and loss, and identity work. Amy is trained in EMDR, Brainspotting, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Trust Based Relationship Interventions. She is an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor and a Clinical Fellow of the association. Amy has been married to Dan for twelve years and together they have three children.
Amy Alexander is a licensed marriage and family therapist and is the Co-Founder of The Refuge Center for Counseling. Her areas of clinical focus include: Trauma, Domestic and Sexual Violence, Women’s Issues, Traumatic Bereavement, and Addictions. Amy is trained in EMDR, Brainspotting, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Amy is also clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and a member of the Nashville Area Association of Christian Counselors.
Connie Kinder, LMFT, Clinical Director, Therapist
Leslie Binford is a
psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner specializing in medication
management for the adult population. Previous experience includes work with
individuals with severe and persistent mental health needs, addiction, women’s
issues and trauma. In addition to her nurse practitioner duties, she in an
instructor of nursing with Vanderbilt School of Nursing. Leslie’s passion is to
partner with individuals through their healing journey, utilizing medication
management as a piece of the puzzle, to provide holistic, person-centered care.
Lynde is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Prepare-Enrich premarital counseling, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Nashville Area Association of Christian Counselors.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
“I’ve never shared my story with anybody.” -- The first step toward recovery can be the most difficult. The ability to engage in productive activities, to find relationships with other people fulfilling, and to adapt to change and cope with adversity are each vital to enjoying a happy and healthy life. But each of these facilities can be significantly impaired by mental health disorders. A mental health diagnosis should not define who a person is, or what a person can achieve through treatment and support. Middle Tennessee nonprofit organizations are ready to help make that first step toward good health a little easier.
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