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Refuge Center welcomes Paris-Goodyear-Brown

Therapist Paris Goodyear-Brown discussed setting boundaries at an educational seminar sponsored by The Refuge Center in Franklin. PHOTO SUBMITTED

Renowned therapist Paris Goodyear-Brown, of Nashville, spoke to mental health professionals at a recent educational conference sponsored by The Refuge Center for Counseling, a faith-based, nonprofit in Franklin.

Goodyear-Brown discussed protecting personal and professional boundaries that define one’s comfort level in interacting with others.

Whether you picture a line drawn in the sand, a wall, or a “keep out” sign or other physical boundaries, everyone has internal boundaries that define how one relates to others.

Goodyear-Brown explained that individuals whether professionals, parent, spouse, friend or co-worker need to protect their boundaries in order to stay empowered and fulfilled in life. 

“When we set boundaries, we gain freedom. Boundaries help tell us where our responsibilities begin and end,” she said.

 She also talked about balance, explaining that metaphorically it is an even distribution of weight enabling someone to remain upright and steady.

Many distractions sprinkle the landscape of living a fulfilling life —emails, cell phones, the Internet and the requests of others. Any of these can derail the best of intentions in achieving goals. 

Goodyear-Brown emphasized that, “No,” is a complete sentence and quoted a few helpful sayings such as, “The need is not the call,” meaning that one should make decisions based on their own heart instead of being swayed by the needs of others. She also added a favorite, “Your procrastination is not my emergency.” 

For professionals, Goodyear-Brown also explained that setting expectations in clear language might lead to better results. 

For example, she said instead of supervisors giving open-ended instructions like, “It would be really great if you could make these copies by noon,” it would be more effective to say, “Please make these copies by noon.” 

She also discussed time management and how the vicious cycle of multitasking can actually make professionals less productive during the workday.

She shared findings from recent studies on the effects of multi-tasking on the brain and work efficiency.

When multitasking, one is only about 40 percent efficient at a task, Goodyear-Brown said and one’s IQ points can drop up to 10 points when the mind is pulled in too many directions at once.

“The more we are interrupted, the more stress hormones are released, and the more irritated we become.” 

Goodyear-Brown also talked about how developing a clear vision helps professionals and individuals make better decisions in their daily lives that lead to fulfillment.

“Vision helps you be disciplined in setting and keeping boundaries,” she said. “If it doesn’t fit the vision, it’s okay to say no.

“It helps to have people in your life who know you really well who can help you to make those decisions.”  

Amy Alexander, executive director of The Refuge Center for Counseling said, “My hope is that the conference empowered attendees to establish boundaries in their personal and professional lives that promote health, healing and full living.”  

Goodyear-Brown is a licensed clinical social worker with 18 years of counseling experience working with traumatized children. 

She is Adjunct Instructor of Psychiatric Mental Health at Vanderbilt University and has written multiple books on helping children heal from trauma. She holds trainings and serves as a guest speaker around the world.

Fundraiser set to support services 

The Refuge Center will conduct a fundraising dinner Hope Grows 2013 presented by SnapShot Interactive Thursday, Oct. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Factory at Franklin, Building 8, 230 Franklin Rd.

The event will consist of a benefit dinner and award ceremony honoring Ann Buchanan, retired president and CEO of United Way of Williamson County. The event will feature a silent auction and entertainment by Patsy Clairmont, Magnolia Sons and Galen Crew.

The Refuge Center for Counseling, established in 2005, exists to offer affordable professional counseling services in order to empower, educate and support individuals, couples and families in need. 

In 2013, The Refuge Center will provide approximately 11,000 counseling sessions for 1,700 individuals. About 24 percent of the individuals that the center served in 2012 live below the poverty line.

The Refuge Center services continue to be in great demand. The center experienced a 26 percent increase in services from 2012, and they continue to have waiting lists, especially for our trauma related services.

“There is a great need for affordable and excellent mental health services in our community. We feel the increase in services since last year is due in part to the increased financial pressure many families are facing in the current economic climate. Financial pressures often place strains on relationships as well.”

“Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to directly benefit clients by making the center’s sliding scale fee possible so that we don’t have to turn away anyone due to their financial circumstances,” said Nicole Smith, board member of the Refuge Center. 

“The money raised at Hope Grows ultimately ensures that we can continue to offer hope and healing to the Middle Tennessee community.” 

According to previous Herald reports, the first year that the Refuge Center was in business, it served about 30 clients. By the second year, they served 284 clients. The third year they saw 530 clients and numbers have been rising since.

Tickets for the fundraising event are $75 per person or $115 per couple in advance; $85 per person at the door. To learn more or purchase tickets, visit or call 615-771-1155.

Posted on: 9/25/2013


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