Counselors work with victims, families in violence aftermath

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Several Chicago area hospitals are working together on a new way to support victims of violence.

Getting counseling for a victim is important, but now there is new focus on wrapping that person and their family in support to prevent a cycle of violence.

As part of a new partnership with CeaseFire, victims at Mount Sinai Hospital will have counselors offer immediate support while simultaneously offering dispute resolution. And before the family leaves, they will connect them with social services for more long-term support.

Lori Rincon was a victim of domestic violence and first noticed her son showing signs of stress as a result. Their mother says without this support she fears the cycle of violence could continue.

"They're stuck, they don't know how to deal with it and then they display the same behavior and the cycle keeps going. This therapy really does help," Rincon said.

Daughter Lina said: "Sometimes I can't control my anger and I get mad at people."

Clinical psychologist Mirna Ballestas said all of their clients are affected by violence in one way or another.

"Everyone who surrounds that environment ends up being victims of that violence," Ballestas said.

As for Rincon's children - Lina and Jeramiah -- see "Dr. Rachel," a counselor at Mt. Sinai to help them work through some difficult things. Jeramiah is older and remembers more about those times. He's doing better after talking to Dr. Rachel.

Through counseling, Jeramiah and Lina have developed solutions to calm themselves.

Lina said if she gets mad she goes through to whole alphabet to re-gain calm.
Related topics:
gun violencetherapy
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.