2018 SUMMER NEWSLETTER
Newhouse Finds Success in New Treatment Therapy
After 20 years of service, Bridgette Mavec, EVP of Clinical Services, noticed that residents and clients were suffering with long-term issues. Staff struggled with a timely treatment plan while individuals were in their care. She recalled reading about a treatment used largely in mental health centers, “Dialectical Behavioral Therapy,” or DBT. Reports claimed that it worked quickly and was successful in some hard-to-treat mental health disorders. Additionally, it promoted normalization in dysregulated individuals, providing a solution that teaches survivors to respond to difficult situations instead of reacting in an emotional way.
What struck her about this particular article was that the DBT methodology had been broadened to treat victims of domestic abuse. And it was getting great results. “This is exactly what I need,” she thought.

With the help of a grant from the Jackson County Mental Health Levy, and with training received from the Lilac Center in Kansas City, Bridgette and the staff at Newhouse were able to introduce DBT into Newhouse’s treatment program. The results were beyond her expectations. “I’ve never seen something that works so quickly,” she said.
The methodology asks the question,
“How is doing what you are doing getting what you want?”
Using a very structured model, therapists help clients recognize and modulate their emotions by teaching mindfulness and behavioral skills. They help clients look at factors that contribute to their behaviors and help normalize their feelings and behaviors, help them self-soothe in positive ways, and use language like, “What happened to you?” instead of “What’s wrong with you?” “It’s something that—since we don’t have a lot of time with clients-- we can give to them immediately, they can take with them, and no one can ever take from them,” Bridgette said.
One key to the DBT model lies in the practice of DBT among staff members. Bridgette noticed that the immersion and commitment of the staff to learning and practicing DBT methods themselves has “made all the difference” in preventing staff burnout and bringing the staff closer together as a team.

Newhouse staff has seen great results since bringing in the DBT methodology. “We have a profound understanding that our clients are in pain, and if they could take care of it, they would,” she said. DBT is a tool that helps the staff Newhouse create lasting change in people’s lives. “Intervention to change lives, that’s what we’re committed to.”  
YOU can help break the Cycle of Domestic Violence by making a donation to Newhouse that will continue invaluable programs and education needed by adults and children in shelter.
66,816 Therapy Sessions in 2017
21,052 Nights of safe shelter in 2017
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