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Currently the Counselling Program is experiencing a very high level of requests for appointments. As a result, we have had to make some temporary changes to our response times. If you have experienced an assault in the past three months you will be able to schedule a consultation session with a therapist within 2-3 weeks, and if you have experienced an assault more than three months ago you will be able to book a consultation within 4-12 weeks. During the consultation session, a therapist will explore with you your current needs and supports, and identify any outside services that would be appropriate.
If you have experienced an assault in the past three months you can also, in the initial consultation, be placed on a priority waitlist for counselling at Avalon if our program appears to be a good match for your needs. Wait times for counselling sessions will vary. We understand that this may be difficult for people and we continue to work hard to reduce wait times and to seek resources to support our service delivery.
As well, we are not able to operate a dedicated crisis support line. Those who are feeling very overwhelmed or individuals who unable to keep themselves safe from immediate self-harm, are directed to contact emergency crisis supports including: the Mental Health Mobile Crisis Unit, 911 or proceeding to their hospital emergency departments.
We are also unable to provide a same-day emergency or guaranteed “walk-in” appointment service. We ask service providers to advise potential clients to call in to avoid undue frustration or discouragement.
Our specialized therapeutic counselling program is available to women & Trans/gender non-identified individuals 16 years and older, who have experienced a recent or historical sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, and/or sexual harassment. We also provide individual information sessions to the non-offending parents of children who have disclosed sexual abuse, and to supportive partners of clients accessing services.
Safe Practice Guideline
Avalon Centre therapists are required to follow a Safe Practice Guideline to ensure that sexual abuse/assault focused work is not re-traumatizing to individuals. Our therapists explore key internal and external safety considerations with each individual and may recommend preliminary stabilization with key outside supports prior to, or in concert with, initiating sexual abuse/assault trauma counselling at Avalon Centre.
Individual Therapeutic Counselling
We offer 1-10 therapeutic counselling sessions to those who are experiencing a heightened time of distress or crisis following a recent sexual assault or are experiencing strong flashbacks and immediate distress stemming from a past sexual violation. These ‘Foundations of Safety’ therapeutic counselling sessions are intended to assist people in moving through an immediate crisis.
We offer 1 – 20 ‘Relational Healing’ services for those addressing historical sexual abuse and/or past sexual assault.
We do offer 1-3 quicker to access bridging sessions to those on the waitlist who are seeking some immediate support in addressing current trauma related triggers and concerns.
We understand that it can be challenging to be placed on a waitlist, and do not want to deter people from calling in to meet with a counsellor. We work hard to ensure each client receives a high level of specialized service.
Avalon Centre’s goal is to ensure that our client population has access to information, support, and specialized counselling services after sexual assault/abuse.
Information Sessions for Parents and Partners
We offer 1-3 information and support sessions to the non-offending parents of children/youth. These sessions are intended to help parents understand and respond to the aftermath following disclosure including: validating parents feelings and needs for support, naming possible impacts and trauma responses for both themselves and their child and supporting the healing journey. We also offer an individual or joint information session to partners of clients coming to Avalon Centre to provide education related to the effects of sexual assault/abuse trauma, secondary impacts for partners, and possibilities for supporting healing and recovery.
Groups and Workshops
We presently offer group programs within three broad areas of focus including: ‘Safety Building Foundational Group Programs’, ‘Relational Healing Focused Group Programs’ and ‘Living Fully in Present Life Group Programs’. In a general sense, the safety building foundational programs help prepare people for the relational trauma healing focused programs which in turn help prepare individuals for later stage, living fully in the present programs.
All group programs are co-facilitated by Avalon Centre therapists, which ensures a high standard of safety. Individual counselling sessions are offered as a preparation for group work. Not every person who comes to Avalon Centre for individual counselling chooses to participate in our specialized groups as we understand this work can be more triggering and requires a high level of commitment. Avalon therapists are responsible to take great care when making recommendations for group work to ensure that an adequate level of safety is present. We do not recommend group work when people are in a place of crisis to ensure that this significant step is manageable. Pre-group meetings are offered to each person who is exploring whether a group program may be a good fit at this time in their healing process and lives. For more information regarding our group programs, please inquire with your individual therapist at Avalon.
There is no fee for individual counselling sessions at Avalon Centre. We do require a minimum of 24 hours notice for cancellations so that we can offer this time to another client who is waiting for our specialized counselling services. We really appreciate everyone’s cooperation to ensure that as many people receive services as possible.
Download: Counselling Brochure