The Page Regional Domestic Violence Shelter continues to break the mold when it comes to treating clients dealing with trauma.
On Oct. 2, the shelter, known as Another Way in Page, will open its Wellness Studio in an attempt to help those who are victims or trauma, both domestic violence and other trauma in life.
“We’re breaking away from the emergency services,” said Gregg Martinez, executive director of Another Way.
“What we’re trying to access is the second phase of recovery.”
Martinez said the change came about after Another Way partnered with ASU for a needs assessment. Over a year, ASU representatives met with 37 former clients of Another Way in an effort to see what the organization does well and what it can improve on.
“For the first three phases, everyone’s needs were met,” Martinez said. “We had a satisfaction rate of almost 98 percent.”
The first three phases are the traditional shelter goals — working with law enforcement to help victims, providing emergency shelter and meeting the immediate needs in crisis.
“A lot of what the women were writing is they would have liked to stay in Page, they wanted job help, they needed childcare,” Martinez said.
Those functions are not what the traditional shelter meets. With that in mind, Martinez and the board of Another Way began looking at ways to help clients after the initial crisis is handled.
“We needed some type of intervention that wasn’t common,” Martinez said. “Most interventions are talk therapy, group therapy, and it had been beaten to death.”
Martinez said while traditional therapy does work sometimes, the results aren’t good enough for him. Some studies have shown that only 30 percent of people who take part in talk therapy get the results they desire. Martinez said the figure is closer to 50 percent at Another Way, but that still wasn’t good enough for him.
“This Wellness Studio, here we are,” he said. “We felt it was a combination of mind, body and spirit.”
Martinez explained that most studies show talk therapy only impacts one sector of the brain. To fully impact people, two sectors of the brain need to be impacted. In the plan for the Wellness Studio, Martinez believes he can do that.
“In order to have a full recovery, you need to have a bilateral stimulation,” Martinez said. “It’s only shown more positive results. It works. I’ve seen it work. It works with people who have long-standing trauma.”
At the Wellness Studio, Another Way will combine a physical workout with brain therapy to reach people at a deeper level. Clients will ride stationary bikes while watching virtual reality scenes and being led by Martinez and others. The goal is to stimulate more of the brain and lead to full recovery.
“The general principal is we want to have an intervention that is effective,” he said. “I see this being very successful.”
At the same time, Another Way will be transitioning to another level of care. While emergency services will always be needed, he hopes to extend the work to include transitional living, job assistance, childcare and more. Those needing work can work with Another Way, either at the greenhouse or the family bargain center.
If it works the way Martinez hopes, he believes it will help more people.
“It definitely breaks the norm,” he said. “There are people, especially in the government, who don’t understand what we’re doing. But we’re losing the battle of helping people.”
In addition to his traditional clients, Martinez is opening the Wellness Studio to the “helpers” in the community, eyeing doctors, nurses and others in healthcare. They will also offer counseling and wellness offerings to offenders who want to change.
“I’m hopeful we can help people who wouldn’t traditionally get help,” Martinez said. “I want to help people who want to help themselves. This is the way it’s probably going to have to be in the future.”
The Wellness Studio will be located on Elm Street, next door to the Family Bargain Center. A grand opening open house will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and the studio will open Oct. 2.