October 31, 2017

Connecting Across Professions

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Category: Newsletter

This summer marked the fourth year of our successful series of interdisciplinary workshops on domestic violence (DV) screening, assessment, and response. Thanks to generous funding from the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority (PHPDA), 139 mental health and chemical dependency professionals received training at three workshops throughout King County.

This year’s workshop, “Diving Into the Deep End: Strengthening the Therapeutic Response to Domestic Violence,” featured the excellent Tracee Parker as the main speaker. In addition to DV screening and assessment skills, Tracee brought her experience as an advocate, a perpetrator treatment provider, a supervised visitation provider, and a psychologist to share engagement and rapport-building techniques for both survivors and perpetrators of violence. Advocates from Consejo, the YWCA, DAWN, the Salvation Army, and LifeWire deepened workshop attendees’ understanding of King County DV resources. They also worked with small groups of behavioral health professionals to practice their newly-acquired skills.

It’s essential that mental health and chemical dependency professionals be skilled in identifying and responding to DV. Though individual clinicians can—and do—offer excellent service to people involved in DV relationships, many mental health and chemical dependency agencies in King County do not have consistent screening and response practices for victimization or battering. Without identifying and appropriately responding to DV in their clients’ lives, practitioners are not able to plan for safety, connect them to resources or address abuse in their treatment. These workshops gave clinicians the knowledge and skills to understand and identify DV, assess for dangerousness, and respond in safe and effective ways.

The response to this workshop series has been so overwhelmingly positive that the Coalition plans to seek additional funding to repeat and expand these events in the future – we are excited to build upon their enormous success. Thank you to the PHPDA, our fabulous speakers, and enthusiastic participants for a wonderful year of learning!