Counselling at Women's Support Network of York Region
Counselling at Women’s Support Network of York Region is for survivors of sexual violence. We provide support addressing:
- Sexual assault that has recently happened
- Sexual assault that happened a long time ago
- Sexual harassment
- Childhood sexual abuse (for those currently aged 16 and up) and incest
- Sexual exploitation
- Online sexual violence
- Sexual violence that has been reported to the police, as well as sexual violence that has not been reported to the police
Learn more about sexual violence: Read more here.
Counselling is client-centred and trauma-informed. We help survivors at any point in their healing journey. We can help you to:
- Get emotional support
- Learn about the impacts of sexual violence
- Learn about ways of coping with sexual violence
- Plan for your safety
- Learn more about the criminal justice system and sexual violence (if you wish to)
- Understand and work through your options
- Get information for your friends and loved ones about sexual violence
- Get referrals to other community services that can help
There is no cost for counselling.
At Women’s Support Network of York Region, our counselling services are guided by these important principles:
- The client/survivor is the expert on their own situation.
- Counsellors are non-judgemental, and support client/survivors’ choices.
- An equal, teamwork relationship exists between the counsellor and the client/survivor. The client/survivor brings their knowledge and experience. The counsellors bring knowledge, skills, and tools for sexual violence coping and healing, as well as information on helping resources in the community.
- Counsellors recognize that client/survivors’ lives are often shaped by sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, ageism, and other life experiences.
Counselling services at WSN follow a comprehensive 3-phase approach known as the tri-phasic model of trauma recovery.
1. Safety and Stabilization – Building the Toolkit
The focus during this phase is the client’s immediate needs. The counsellor models attention to safety by promoting safe and secure living, healthy relationships, and bodily safety, in addition to other client-specific needs such as emotional regulation or sleep hygiene.
In this stage, there is also psychoeducation and skill/self-care development. This helps to recognize triggers and symptoms and learn how to react to them which is why this stage is also referred to as “building the toolkit”.
2. Processing of Trauma
Once the client has built their toolkit, they can begin to process the actual memories of trauma. This involves overcoming the fear of and coming to terms with these memories.
3. Reintegration of Self and Community
Clients form a new identity by learning how to relate to the world in a way that does not have trauma as a primary theme. During this phase, the focus is on present-day concerns as opposed to the past and trauma.
Learn more about the tri-phasic model in Judith Herman’s book Trauma and Recovery, or you can watch this short video: https://traumapractice.net/tri-phasic-model
Read more about the effects of trauma in our Resource Library.
Crisis counselling is for people in crisis, or who have an immediate or time-limited need. Crisis counselling appointments:
- Are 1-3 focused appointments within 4 weeks
- Are 1 hour in length
- Can be provided in-person, via phone or video counselling
To access Crisis Counselling appointments, contact WSN at 905.895.3646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A counsellor will contact you within 72 hours to schedule an appointment.
- Takes place every Tuesdays from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM via online.
- Clients are seen on a first-come first-serve basis for 45 mins.
- The last appointment will begin at 6:15 PM and finish by 7:00 PM.
To learn more about Drop-In counselling, call 905-895-3646 or email email@example.com.
To obtain the link to the Drop-in sessions, please sign up on Eventbrite – Drop-in Eventbrite Sign up
Individual counselling (ongoing) offers a space to work one-to-one with a counsellor for up to 24 weeks. Individual counselling (ongoing) is available to survivors of past and recent sexual violence.
Individual counselling provides:
- Up to 1 hour of counselling per week
- Ongoing sessions with the same counsellor
- Counselling support directed by the needs and priorities of the survivor
- Counselling support can include topics such as creating safety boundaries, and self-care; identifying and managing triggers; managing coping skills and trauma reactions; processing memories of sexual violence
To access individual counselling, contact WSN at 905-895-3646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not ready for counselling services? That’s okay too. Feel free to read a little about sexual violence at your own pace at our Resources Library page.