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Women's Empowerment (WE) Program

Opened in June 2017, the Women’s Empowerment (WE) program is based on the Gender-Responsive Treatment Model and Healing Trauma, both developed by Stephanie Covington, and Seeking Safety, developed by Lisa Najavits. These treatment models emphasize the importance of gender-specific treatment for both women and men. Malvern Institute’s WE program focuses on building strength and resiliency for women who live with the disease of addiction, as well as trauma histories and co-occurring disorders.

Research shows that women in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction very frequently have trauma histories; adverse childhood experiences or traumatic experiences as an adult.  No matter when the trauma occurred, women in early recovery need to bond with other women and learn to rebuild their relationships, to have the best opportunity to have success in their recovery and to reclaim their lives.

Women will be housed in a wing separate from the men, with their own community lounge.  They will have female counselors and female clinical aides on the wing, in order to provide a “safe place” where they can address their underlying issues.  They will participate in art therapy, music therapy, yoga, meditation, small groups and sessions dedicated to developing coping skills to manage their ongoing symptoms.

Heading up our Women’s Program is Pat McGovern, MBA, CCDP.  Pat is a certified Co-Occurring Disorders Professional and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.  Pat has been working in the field of Drug and Alcohol Treatment for 14 years, and has worked extensively with patients who struggle with trauma histories.


WE focuses on Gender-Responsive Treatment, with specialized attention to trauma histories, co-occurring disorders, and strength-building modalities.  This program was developed based on “A Woman’s Way through the 12 Steps”, “Healing Trauma”, and “Seeking Safety”.

Some of the specialized groups will include:

  • Seeking Safety
  • A Woman’s Way Through the 12 Steps
  • Parenting
  • Building Resilience
  • Returning to Relationships in Early Recovery
  • Building Self-Esteem
  • EMDR
  • Music Therapy
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Drum circles and Singing Bowls
  • Horticultural Therapy
  • Art Therapy


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