By Grace Usher
Creason Counseling is open to assist local victims of domestic violence. The office is located within the Shambles pavilion at 2126 McCulloch Blvd. The team of Creason Counseling is Paula Lupo, Kathy Dolan, Launa Rios and Karen Kastoll.
The nonprofit counseling center was formed as a reaction to the dissolvement of the Lake Havasu Interagency Council earlier this year.
In June, The Havasu Community Health Foundation absorbed multiple programs from the Interagency umbrella. Earlier this month, they relocated and reopened the Community Food Bank. Creason Counseling is now the resource for victims of domestic violence in the area.
“If it wasn’t for community health foundation, we probably wouldn’t be here honestly. They came, they stepped up, and said let’s do this. [They] gave us this great location and took the programs. It’s been really, really great,” Dolan said.
Learn more about the Community Food Bank, here.
The name Creason in the center namesake pays homage to the late Pat Creason. Creason was a pivotal character in the Interagency development stages.
Creason Counseling offers services for domestic violence victims, sexual assault victims, youth violence awareness, and teen dating violence awareness. All services offered by the organization are offered at no charge to clients.
“Our biggest focus is trauma informed care. What that means is we are all training in what it means when someone goes through trauma, what those things look like,” Lupo said.
As well as therapy and counseling, the group aims to build an awareness of what domestic violence is for both adults and youth. They also host support groups for victims and creative outlets to support the healing process.
As well as their Shambles location, the group has an Acoma location, “Youth Center” that houses their Student Assistance Program and BLOOM365 Teen dating violence program.
The S.A.P. programs are housed in the schools with the aim that any peer, staff, faculty or parent can refer a student who may be in need of support to the group. The student then has an opportunity to attend the support group as a way to express difficult emotions and be provided a safe space for life discussion and healing.
“It makes them feel not so alone. I find that when I do a SAP group, they are able to connect and become friends. They learn that they are not the only ones going through this and they have a friend they can talk to now about what is going on. It’s an awesome program,” Dolan said.
BLOOM 365 is another youth program that targets freshman students to bring awareness of teen dating violence. Throughout the year, the ninth-graders experience seven sessions of the program.
The sessions cover topics such as relationship training, what teen dating violence is, how to have a positive relationship, and from where abuse comes.
“The overall goal of the program is to stop the cycle of abuse,” said Dolan.
Learn more about BLOOM 365, here.
Another program, Cut-it Out, is a one-hour seminar given to professional beauticians on how to communicate with a client whom they suspect may be a victim of abuse.
The seminar teaches the professionals how to listen for key words in conversations, how to approach the subject safely, and what/how to administer resources to the client in an encouraging manner.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and the group’s focus is the Cut-It-Out Program. The group is hosting a Hair Show Oct. 29, to fundraise for the programs and services of the organization and bring a positivity to the beauty community.
Creason Counseling is here to bring awareness and support those who are suffering from domestic violence.