My name is Mary Ann Andrade-Bekker, and I am a full-time psychotherapist at the Genesis Therapy Center.
I recently had the opportunity to work with the Housing Action Illiinois (VISTA) program in Chicago. VISTA is an agency that provides temporary and permanent housing to low- and moderately low-income households. If you, or anyone you know, is on the verge of being homeless and needs assistance to secure affordable housing, it can be found by clicking this link: http://housingactionil.org/who-we-are/mission-values-vision/.
I will say that I was impressed with this organization’s mission and values, as it mirrors our dedication at Genesis to provide high-quality and affordable mental health services to anyone who needs services. I was thrilled when they asked me to present the benefits of narrative therapy to participants in their housing program.
Many of the participants at VISTA were being coached and empowered to write their story as a way to not only highlight the importance of the agency’s initiative, but to also remind them that despite their past trauma, setbacks, and barriers, they are working towards and attaining their personal goals. I was happy to share my experience with narrative therapy and how it’s changed the way I look at and describe my own life story.
At the end of my presentation, I could see the fire in the VISTA participants eyes and the need attached to sharing their story with others. I am excited to return next month and present the importance and necessity of using narrative therapy with the next cohort of VISTA participants.