The Power of Relationship

Refuge for Women Chicago

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Jeffrey Kottler of The American Counseling Association states that more than a specific counseling technique, it is the POWER OF RELATIONSHIP that is so important to healing.  When a client is heard and understood and valued, healing begins to happen.  

All of our Refuge homes have staff and volunteers who understand this and their RELATIONAL COMMITMENT to our residents is beyond question!  For example, during Chicago’s recent super polar vortex

  • where temperatures were -24 degrees with -50 degrees wind chill

  • where the authorities were asking people to stay home

  • where EVERTHING was shut down…

  • our staff showed up to work their shifts.  


Not only was this important because our program calls for 24/7 staff coverage, but Chicago had just brought in a new resident the day before the vortex hit full force and what would it have communicated to her had our staff not made it in?  (and believe me, it was not easy to get in)

Across all our sites, we know that the POWER OF RELATIONSHIP begins to have impact when our staff and volunteers show up time and time again to be authentically present in:

  • pain

  • processing

  • steps forward and back

  • celebrating milestones

  • joining in the regular stuff of life.


Our brave residents arrive at our homes in towns they have never visited, to live with women they have never met, in order to engage a program they hope can help them.  It is the POWER OF RELATIONSHIP with us and with Jesus that charts the course for their new beginnings.  It is POWER OF RELATIONSHIPthat enables heroic staff stories that enables heroic healing stories…braving the Chicago weather was just one of them.