Information and Emotional Support Line
Conversations are Confidential*
Monday - Saturday 9:00 - 5:00
* limits of confidentiality will be discussed during phone support
We Are An Evolving Society
Q. What is "client-centered" counseling?
A. A client-centered approach invites the client to take an active role in their counseling with the counselor being supportive not directive. The client is at the centre of their own decision making. Guidance comes from the client's instincts and the counselor becomes an ally and advocate walking alongside the client. The counselor contributes expertise when appropriate to expand upon the client's understanding of the root cause of their struggles and suggests referrals to appropriate resources to build the client's support network. The counselor supports the client to discover their strengths and believe in themselves. A client-centered counselor encourages the client to develop a relationship with 'Self' fully aware that reconciliation with Self is at the heart of all healing. Goals of a client-centered approach are increased self-esteem, independence and openness to self-mastery.
People are capable of self-healing and personal growth which leads to self-actualization, an important concept in client-centered counseling. Self-actualization refers to the tendency of all human beings to move forward, grow, and reach their full potential.
Q. What is a "response-based" practice?
A. Whenever people are abused we do many things to oppose the abuse and keep our dignity and self-respect. We always try to reduce, prevent or stop the abuse in some way. These responses to abuse are called "resistance". Perpetrators know that we wll resist abuse and either plan in advance to sabotage our resistance or take action in the moment to interfere with or stop our resistance. People tend not to notice how we resist abuse. For example, relationship violence can be very dangerous so women will resist in ways that are not obvious. Hidden acts of resistance are our safest responses to violence and yet make us vulnerable to the judgments of others who do not see our responses as actions that increase our safety or preserve our dignity.
A response-based approach also considers the language used to describe the abuse or violence. Often the words we choose minimize the abusive acts, dismiss perpetrator responsibility, conceal our acts of resistance, and place blame on the victim. Language affects how we interpret acts of violence and therefore how we respond whether it be criminal justice system intervention or emotional support.
Response-based counseling examines not only the client's response to abuse but the responses received when they reported the violence. Was the client believed or dismissed? Was the perpetrator held accountable or was the client blamed? How does this response from others impact the client? Their view of themself? The likelihood of reporting abuse in the future?
"MANifesting Change ~ Promoting a Culture of Respect"
MANifesting Change is an invitation for men to step forward as allies and learn empowered responses to other men's use of violence towards women. Grounded in a critical analysis of power and control in relationship and rape culture, MANifesting Change focuses on Toxic Masculinity's harmful impact on men, women and particularly young boys and girls.
Information and Emotional Support Line
Monday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For survivors of intimate partner abuse and/or violence, sexualized assault or sexualized exploitation.
Sexual Assault Response Program (SARP)
Our sexual assault Advocates offer compassionate trauma-informed support while providing in-person accompaniment for survivors of sexualized offenses to attend medical services, report an offense to RCMP, or attend court so that survivors are not alone during the aftermath of sexualized crime. SARP includes 24/7 crisis accompaniment to Duncan, Chemainus and Ladysmith hospitals for the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam, non-crisis accompaniment, "response planning" for next-step actions, emotional support, safety planning, information on forensic procedures, options for reporting, justice-related services, and advocacy to adults (13+) of all gender identities who are survivors of a sexualized assault.
Criminal Justice System Support
If you have been victimized by crime we can assist you! Services include: making a statement to RCMP, registering with the Victim Safety Unit, completing a Victim Impact Statement and/or Statement on Restitution, witness orientation and accompaniment to court.
* Domestic Violence Court Steering Committee
* Sexual Assault Resonse Team
* Cowichan Valley Violence Against Women in
* Relationship (VAWIR)
* Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Forensic Nurse
Examiner Mobile Unit
* Cowichan Women's Health Collective Advisory
Support Services Society
Sexual Assault Advocacy Centre
Workshops and In-Service Trainings
We develop curriculum and facilitate workshops for local community members under the umbrella of grassroots social action events. We facilitate in-service trainings to social responders providing service to women and young girls who may be experiencing or are at risk of relationship abuse and/or violence, sexualized assault or exploitation. We provide co-facilitation of psycho-educational support groups for agencies seeking a feminist analysis of gender-based violence with a focus on strengths.
Crime Victim Assistance Counseling
We are registered counselors with the Crime Victim Assistance Program - a program assisting victims, immediate family members and some witnesses in coping with the effects of crime. CVAP provides financial benefits on approved claims to help offset financial losses and assist in recovery such as: counseling, protective measures, lost wages, medical/dental or transportation expenses etc. for any victim of any crime in British Columbia.
Crime Victim Assistance
Honouring client's resistance to oppression and abuse and cultivating dignity for survivors of abuse and associated trauma is Warmland Women's Support Services Society's response-based approach to client-centered counseling in the Cowichan Valley.
Transformation Through Movement
Funded by Island Health, Transformation Through Movement is a series of Body-centered trauma recovery classes for survivors of sexualized violence combining mindfulness practices with dynamic movement. Regardless of age or ability, self-paced conscious movement is exhilarating and liberating. A workout for body and soul using Indigenous and world music, catalytic conscious movement takes survivors from depression to expression, contraction to expansion, fragmentation to wholeness. Mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia moving survivors beyond self-imposed limitations and isolation into new depths of connection with Self and others. Registration is free. All materials are included.
Creatively Writing Our Recovery
Funded by the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General, "Creatively Writing Our Recovery" is a trauma-informed program for women survivors of sexual assault or relationship violence combining mindfulness practices with therapeutic art and creative writing. Participants explore gentle, invitational, witty, and often entertaining ways of calming our nervous system to navigate the internal landscape of emotion. We seek out external clues as mirrors for self-reflection. We use compassionate inquiry and curiosity to explore thoughts, feelings, and states of being. We strengthen our internal resources. Transformative self-discovery connects us with our wounds making it possible to embrace our wounds as long lost parts of our Self bringing ourselves home into a harmonious union within our heart.