Program Spotlight: Domestic Violence Clinical Counseling Program




“I hope this program grows into a team of clinical social workers who really understand coercive control, interpersonal violence, and domestic violence. That any victim, survivor, and thriver of domestic violence have access to therapy; otherwise, this violence will persist in our culture and harm those with the least amount of power to speak out and receive life-saving support.” -Marienelly Vazquez, LICSW (she/her/hers), Director of Clinical Services and Community Outreach

Program Spotlight: Domestic Violence Clinical Counseling Program

With the Clinical Counseling Program, social workers offer free talk therapy to participants to bridge the gap to formal support.

Domestic and Interpersonal violence is a national epidemic that impacts 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men. However, it most impacts marginalized communities, such as black, indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ groups of people. These groups are at a much greater risk of violence and consequently have less access to formal support such as the legal, medical, and behavioral health system.

Our clinical counseling program utilizes evidence-based models and frameworks specifically designed for those who have experienced gender-based violence but have little to no access to trauma-informed, culturally specific care.

Licensed Clinical Social Workers on staff work with participants with a holistic approach that incorporates psychoeducation related to:

  • Healthy Relationships
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Skills to manage unhelpful ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills to help regulate intense, negative emotions.
  • Motivational Interviewing to inspire change.
  • Behavioral Activation to assist in managing symptoms of depression.
  • Solution Focused Therapy to shift focus on future goals and aspirations as opposed to past experiences.
  • Mindfulness Skill Development such as mindfulness, meditation, and body-scanning.
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement informed counseling.

The program is FREE and available in a multilingual/multicultural capacity, so it’s especially beneficial to undocumented people and people who speak English as their second language. The program is also person-centered and specializes in treating PTSD, Anxiety, and Depressive symptoms related to domestic and interpersonal violence.

After an initial intake, clients can schedule weekly or bi-weekly sessions, with treatment evaluations completed every 3 months. Sessions can be held in-person at YWCA at 1 Salem Square or via telehealth on a secure platform. Participants will need access to a secure device with a reliable Wi-Fi signal in a confidential location.

Participants can be referred from another department within the YWCA Central Massachusetts, such as Domestic Violence Community-Based Services or the Housing and Shelter Department.

For questions regarding the program structure, referral process, or internship opportunities, please get in touch with Marienelly Vazquez, LICSW, directly at 508-767-2505×168 (confidential) or email at (non-confidential).

If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence, call our 24-hour helpline 508-755-9030 or visit our 24-hour chatline at