As a partner to government social service agencies in three Midwestern states, Pennsylvania-based Real Alternatives provides women with free, nonjudgmental counseling, referrals, and information on alternatives to abortion. The nonprofit works from a core value of compassion for every woman who seeks its services. Its toll-free number, 1-888-LIFE-AID, connects women experiencing crisis pregnancies with trained counselors who have either undergone crisis pregnancies themselves or assisted others in the same circumstances.
Experts in the field of counseling note that emotional intelligence – and the empathy and compassion that tend to come with it – is an essential trait for any counselor to develop. Counselors who demonstrate compassion and empathy enable clients to tell their own stories, going the extra mile to share and affirm their feelings at every step along the way. The counselors’ responsiveness enables them to form a strong connection with their clients, who feel heard and respected. As a result, the counselors pave the way for the women to make decisions in their own best interests.