Center for Transforming Lives is more than a place for homeless women and children to receive safety – it is a place of healing.
Traumatic experiences, such as homelessness (or the traumatic events that precede homelessness), cause negative symptoms that have a formidable impact on a woman’s capacity to function in everyday life. When left untreated, the trauma byproducts are often maladaptive approaches disguised as substance use, dysfunctional relationships or unconstrained emotion.
At CTL, the counseling department serves two generations – both women whohave experienced trauma AND theirchildren. Not only is CTL a place for women to heal, but the clinical work we do has the capacity to halt the generational impact of trauma. This evidence-based, two-generation approach has proven successful and illustrates why the work we do here is so unique.
CTL counselors serve clients at our onsite homeless shelter and offsite throughout the community. Our therapists recognize the need to build relationships with each client, treating them with the dignity they deserve. We strive to meet each life where they are and work hard to earn the right to join them along their life’s journey.
Clinical Director Stephanie Gillespie chats with a client who was seeking advice.
Stephanie Gillespie, Clinical Director
Licenses/Certifications: Doctorate in Ministry, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Clients: Women who have experienced severe trauma
Served: 15, plus clinical oversight
Objective: To remember that each woman is incredibly resilient! Every life is unique and brings skill sets and supports to further her healing. We detect unhealthy patterns for behavior and toxic relationships, then remove stumbling blocks and relearn new ways of engagement.
My view: “Because others have met me along the way in my own life... how could I not do the same for another woman? It is a privilege to journey with another woman through a season of hers.”
Amy Mills, CVTI Therapist*
Licenses/Certifications: Certified Self-Contained Classroom and Music Teacher, Licensed Minister,
Licensed Professional Counselor
Clients: Mothers and children ages 3-17 who have experienced trauma such as abuse and parental separation
Served: 50 families
Objective: Help families develop healthy daily coping skills through the processing of traumatic events and learning new skills such as parenting skills, relaxation, identifying feelings and emotions, and future safety planning.
My view: “It’s the accomplishment of small goals that help women and children ultimately obtain stability. Perseverance is key. So I try to celebrate every victory, not just the big ones. By redefining expectations, I can see with clear eyes each person
and the path toward independence.”
Diane Eunice, Emergency Shelter Therapist
Licenses/Certifications: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Clients: Women, particularly those recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and substance abuse
Served: 80 women
Objective: Provide the tools to reduce symptoms so women can shift their thinking and mindset,
producing more positive outcomes in relationships.
My view: “I’m an attendee to the human condition. I am passionate about motivating others to live their best life and on their own terms.”