Information and Emotional Support
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Monday - Saturday 9:00 - 5:00
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.
Sexual Assault Response Program (SARP)
Our sexual assault Advocates offer culturally competent 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. In partnership with the Island Health Forensic Nurse Examiner Mobile Unit, SARP Advocates provide 24/7 crisis accompaniment to Duncan, Chemainus, Ladysmith and Nanaimo hospitals for survivors seeking urgent forensic medical care. SARP FNE crisis accompaniment to Island Health hospitals and urgent care centres includes practical and emotional support, information, response planning for next-step actions, coordination for wraparound services, and follow-up support. SARP follow-up support includes options for reporting, justice-related services including the Crime Victim Assistance Program, and advocacy to adults (13+) of all gender identities and non-binary persons who are survivors of a sexualized crime.
Calling Ourselves Home
"Calling Ourselves Home" is an ongoing, culturally competent, trauma-informed yoga group program for Indigenous women survivors of gender-based violence. Elders bridge cultural teachings with yogic principles weaving spiritual commonalities for health and wellbeing.
* 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
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.
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.
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
Transformation Through Movement
"Transformation Through Movement" is an 8 week closed trauma-informed group program for self-identified women survivors of gender-based violence combining mindfulness with dynamic movement. Regardless of age or ability, self-paced conscious movement invites survivors to reset our nervous system out of chronic stress response states such as fight/flight. A therapeutic somatic approach transforms shame into resilience, cultivates dignity and creates positive experiences of trauma recovery allowing survivors to imagine more for themselves through body-based intuition. A workout for body and soul, “Transformation Through Movement” takes survivors from depression to expression, contraction to expansion, fragmentation to wholeness, moving us beyond trauma-imposed limitations into new depths of connection with ourselves and others.
Creatively Writing Our Recovery
"Creatively Writing Our Recovery" is a 7 week closed trauma-informed group program for self-identified women survivors of gender-based violence combining mindfulness practices with expressive arts and creative writing. We explore gentle, invitational ways of calming our nervous system to reduce fight/flight tension, hypervigilance, and anxiety. We use external clues as entertaining mirrors for self-reflection. We use compassionate inquiry and curiosity to explore beliefs, emotions, and states of being. Activities focus on the foundational elements of First Stage trauma recovery “Safety & Stability”. We strengthen our self-trust. We become our own mentor. Trauma-informed self-discovery transforms the impact of gender-based violence into resilience, hope and celebration. We call ourselves home to the sanctuary of our own sacred Heart.