A Center for Empowerment

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The Shade Tree is a Milwaukee community center, serving low-income families, that, through its various support groups, emphasizes self-advocacy and community involvement as a way of reframing what have been lives of desperation. Particular attention is devoted to “Calling the Rain,” the ten week cognitive restructuring workshop conducted by psychologist Juliette Mar- tin-Thomas. Cooperative cadres are an essential feature of the workshop which incorporates a number of humanistic values: the release of latent potentialities, the use of metaphor to defuse traumatic material, involvement in aesthetic activities, the discovery of self in relationship, and the assumption of individual responsibility for change.

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