The non-profit mission statement of the Delmarva Free School is to create lasting wellness at the individual and community level.

The DFS was founded in October 2016 in direct response to the opioid epidemic in Worcester and Wicomico counties on Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore.  We began by  providing free, psychoeducational seminars about women’s mental health and wellness, complex trauma and familial addiction, substance abuse, and recovery.  In the first year, the organization hosted eighteen free seminars, workshops, or healing circles, and served nearly fifty individuals or families. The Free School Phone Line was used as a resource to educate an additional ten individuals at no cost.  The DFS began therapeutic services in early 2017, with a focus on sobriety accountability and women’s embodiment and empowerment.  3/4 of our funding is presently provided by direct services.  The majority of DFS direct service members, in fact all that have committed to treatment, have shown significant progress in their recovery.

The extended vision statement of the DFS explains the organization’s call to comprehensively treat systemic forms of developmental, complex trauma (Dritt, 2010; Herman, 1992; van der Kolk, 1989).  This model addresses familial and modern cultural power differentials which systemically exploit personal or group mental wellness needs and experiences. Complex trauma recognizes normalized exploitation as the basis for potential fragmentation of self-identity, apparent in symptomology known as re-enactment traumas.  This treatment perspective is grounded in a non binary (non dualist/I/Thou) psychodynamic orientation. It posits ecopsychological or psychosoulful awareness and body sovereignty as fundamental to wellness. It supports client-centered, egalitarian self-agency and empowerment.

DFS takes a proactive stance as a creator of Safe Sacred Spaces: As reflected in the Extended Vision Statement portion of our Bylaws, Safe Sacred Spaces honors all bodies indiscriminate of class, race, age, ability, gender/non gender, sex/sexuality or heritage as Sacred and Sovereign.

As a primarily white organization, we feel it is our responsibility to be thoughtfully, proactively Anti-Racist, Pro-Black, and Pro-People of Color and to co-create spaces where this perspective is actively embodied.

We work in depth connection and community on the lower shore of Delmarva, and acknowledge the legacy of Pocomoke and Algonquin, and African and Black ancestry historically responsible for tending this Land.

The Delmarva Free School does not accept insurance and presently relies on private donations to sustain affordable, and if needed, free therapeutic services.


Non-profit EIN 81-4214989

The Delmarva Free School is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

©The Delmarva Free School, 2022