Family Life Mental Health Center Therapist Wins National Recognition For Family Violence Work

Sep 15, 2021

David MathewsWe’re pleased to announce that David Mathews, Psy.D, LICSW, a member of People Incorporated’s Family Life Mental Health Clinic team, was recently named a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Family Advocacy Award from the Institute of Violence, Abuse, and Trauma (IVAT). According to the IVAT, “This award is given to the individual who exemplifies compassion, wisdom and tirelessness as they serve those who need an ally during the most painful of times. This award honors and encourages the qualities of an advocate by recognizing outstanding lifetime achievement on behalf of victims of family violence.”

Dr. Mathews has focused his clinical and professional work on issues of trauma, domestic violence, and violence prevention for more than 35 years, and in particular, he works with those who have been hurtful toward their intimate partners. He launched the Restorative Parenting Practices Program, which trains professionals on how to create and use restorative parenting practices in their work.

“It’s amazing to witness the growth in my clients, and an honor to be working alongside my colleagues here at People Incorporated,” says Dr. Matthews. “We talk about family violence, we often see the “perpetrators or offenders” of violence as monsters, when in fact, they’re people too. They’re people who, in an overwhelming number of instances, experienced trauma – usually as children, youth or as young adults. They need to be held accountable, but the best way to do that isn’t to ask, “What’s wrong with you?” We instead need to ask “What has happened to you? This is about reaching back to people who have experienced trauma as children to intervene in the legacy of abuse and instead help build their capacity for developing a legacy of resilience, so their children don’t continue the same behavior. It’s about supporting a long-term future of healing and health. We’re building capacity to support and promote healthy relationships in addition to stopping or preventing violence.”

When asked about this award, Dr. Mathews responded, “I feel very honored and humbled. It’s a moment to pay attention to what I’ve contributed. It’s encouraging, and my response is heartfelt. If you look at the names of past honorees, these are colleagues, friends, and mentors that have guided what we do today in the fields of trauma and domestic violence. I have no words for that.”

Learn more about the Family Life Mental Health clinic where Dr. Mathews practices.