Community Connections
Project Hope: Girls Recovering from Violence
Project Hope served adolescent girls, ages 12-18, with histories of violent victimization, including physical, sexual or emotional abuse, and/or witnessing violence. The girls, students in public (including public charter) schools in Washington, D.C., participated in Love and Life groups, also called Girls' Trauma Recovery and Empowerment. The 16-session group manual was developed by staff from Community Connections and Sasha Bruce Youthwork led by Dr. Maxine Harris. Adapted from the women's Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM), Love and Life: G-TREM is specifically designed for adolescent girls who have been exposed to a range of traumatic experiences, especially interpersonal violence. Its goals are to reduce distress and difficulties in the multiple life domains affected by this violence; to enhance specific positive coping skills, strengthening girls’ overall functioning; and to decrease risk of revictimization.
In order to gather basic information about responses to this group approach, we gathered feedback, via focus group and survey evaluations, from both clinicians (group co-leaders from the DC Department of Mental Health’s School Mental Health Program) and 77 group members from the 14 successfully completed groups. The results of this preliminary evaluation provide support for Love and Life: G-TREM groups in terms of feasibility, attractiveness and participant satisfaction, and potential benefits. Clinicians were successfully trained to lead these groups and the groups were then successfully implemented in a large number of diverse school-based sites in Washington, DC. Girls attended and completed the groups at high rates and reported a great deal of enthusiasm about their participation. Newly trained group leaders who worked in the schools similarly indicated that the group was valuable and that they would recommend its adoption by other programs. Finally, retrospective self-reports by the participants indicated their perceptions of increased coping skills in several domains. These perceptions were confirmed by group leaders.
To order the Love and Life: G-TREM group leader's manual please go to our Order Form.
For more information about training in how to lead Love and Life: G-TREM groups, please see our Training & Consultation page or contact Lori Beyer, MSW, Director of Trauma Training, at 202-608-4788 or at
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