In June 2008 CALCASA had a clinical training for therapists.  Forty (40) therapists from California rape crisis centers that held MSW, LCSW or MFCC degrees received training on multiple aspects of working with sexual assault survivors.  At that time not all rape crisis centers used therapists to provide services; some agencies solely used the peer counseling model to provide crisis intervention services and others used both therapy and peer counseling.
In 2010 there are an increased number of crisis centers that have discontinued therapeutic services at their agency due to the economic cost of having staff therapists, maintaining their licenses and or providing on-going qualified supervision.
What centers have done and are doing is using the peer counseling model to provide crisis services to survivors.  Peer Counseling is nothing new and is a basic requirement of California Emergency Management Agency (they provide funding to all California rape crisis centers); if you are providing therapy or not.  Depending on the rape crisis center, management, and board philosophy; agencies have reasons why they use therapists to provide services, why they only use peer counselors or a combination of both.
Does your organization utilize peer counseling, therapy, or both to provide services?  What do you think are the benefits or limitations to how your organization provides services?  Please use the comment box below to answer these questions.
Next week I will review the various ways to provide therapeutic services at your agency without it being as costly as you might think. (See next week’s blog “Therapeutic Ways”)