Our founder, Amy Levy, is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. As she progressed through her healing process, she struggled to find services and support. Just like many survivors who have suffered through the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse, Amy started to experience flashbacks once she was psychologically mature enough to acknowledge her experiences. When the flashbacks began, they took control of her life and rendered her dysfunctional. She became depressed, withdrawn and, consequently, suicidal.
Reliving the abuse continuously, especially through the eyes of her adult-self, stirred up memories and emotions that had been suppressed for 25 years. She felt dirty, guilty, worthless, unlovable, and ultimately disgusted with the impact the abuse had had on every aspect of her life. She needed immediate help, and although Amy reached out to many therapists in the area, and met many good ones, she quickly realized that participating in talk therapy for an hour per week was grossly inadequate.
She was forced to do much of the work on her own: researching, using self-help books, and studying through college credited courses. This continued for years, until her mother found a three day retreat in Philadelphia. This retreat was designed to heal the wounds inflicted by sexual abuse.
It was an amazing experience; more healing had occurred during this short intensive retreat than could have taken place in years of stumbling through the dark in search of services. Removing herself from her daily life, focusing, and committing herself to the healing process, all brought results that changed her life immensely. This needed to be shared and “The Dream” was born.
Soothing the scars of childhood sexual abuse is a complex process. If survivors begin reliving their abuse, they may experience crisis. They require a team of professionals to help them regain control of their lives. At the Healing House we know that the trauma can be severe, too devastating to expect such results from an hour or two per week of counseling. Intensive, compassionate, supportive therapies must be interwoven in order to have effective results. That is why we believe there is a tremendous need for the adjunctive services the Healing House will offer.
At the Healing House, we believe that healing from sexual abuse is a complex issue that requires comprehensive treatment. We do not believe that the treatment model of weekly out-patient therapy is enough to heal the deep wounds associated with sexual trauma. Healing House is dedicated to creating an extensive referral network in our community to help meet the variety of needs that survivors have. To compensate for and enhance these community services, Healing House is committed to providing cutting edge, foundational, and holistic training opportunities for our local providers and directly to survivors. This education will be bared firmly in Trauma Informed Care.
We also believe in the effectiveness and necessity found in the retreat-style treatment model. Many survivors would benefit from a kickstart to their healing process or an intensive booster session to facilitate greater progress. Retreats offer a variety of treatment experiences in a one-time friendly, cost-effective model. Retreats also offer a secure setting for bonding and support.