Concerned about how your partner’s abuse has affected your children? Through individual and group counselling, we support children and youth who have experienced conflict or abuse in their home or whose family is going through a difficult separation or divorce.
Our children’s counsellors took time to respond to frequently asked questions about individual and group counselling available through our Children, Youth & Family Programs.
Q: Do you serve all children in the Sea to Sky Corridor?
We are a government funded program that serves children and youth (ages 3 to 18) and their families in Britannia, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and Mount Currie.
Q: Who is the program for?
We offer individual counselling and support groups to children and youth who have experienced violence and/or abuse in the home as well as families who are going through a high conflict separation or divorce. Children and youth who have experienced or witnessed verbal, physical, emotional, financial abuse and/or are going through a high-conflict separation or divorce that is negatively impacting their lives would benefit from this program.
Some of the possible impacts may include: frequent crying, guilt, anger, anxiety, sadness, fears, aggression, withdrawal, poor social skills, poor problem solving skills, acting out, headaches, stomach aches, nausea, bedwetting or nervous tics.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact a children’s counsellor for more information.
Q: What are the goals of the program?
The direct goals of the program are:
- To provide a safe environment for children to talk about their feelings and help teach healthy ways to express them.
- To create an opportunity for children to deal with the traumatic events in their lives.
- To enhance self-esteem and safety awareness.
- To promote problem solving and coping skills.
- To help children define and protect their personal boundaries.
- To help children understand that they are not alone and that they are not at fault for the traumatic events in their life.
- To help children recognize their strengths and increase their self-confidence.
- To help children and youth identify their support networks.
Q: Is there a cost to the counselling program?
The program is free-of charge.
Q: How long does the counselling last for?
Every family and every child comes with their own unique story and needs. Generally we will meet with children for 8-12 sessions. Some of these may be with the care-provider and/or siblings, depending on family needs and circumstances.
Q: Do you support parents as well?
Absolutely. Real change at home comes about when parents are willing and ready to make changes in how they interact with their children. The counsellors in the program meet with parents regularly throughout the counselling process to provide skills and tools so that they can best support their children. We can also make referrals for counselling for parents if this is something that is desired.
Q: What therapeutic modalities are used in the counselling process?
The counselling program uses a psycho-educational approach, incorporating many different modalities such as physical and nature based activities, arts, crafts, building, games, music and mindfulness practice into the counselling process. The first step is engaging your child and building a healthy relationship through their individual needs and interests. By incorporating what they like to do in the counselling sessions the counsellor is able to build trust and provide a safe and nurturing environment for children and youth.
Q: If I am going through a difficult separation/divorce and I am worried about how it is impacting my child, what should I do?
You are welcome to call and speak with a children’s counsellor at the Women’s Centre in Squamish (604-892-5748) or Whistler (604-962-8711) to assess if your child is eligible for the program. If they are, we will schedule an intake appointment with the caregiver(s) where the counsellor will gain more insight into family history and life at home. Then one-on-one counselling will begin with your child.
Support a violence-free future
Our Children, Youth and Family Programs are a fundamental part of our long term violence prevention strategy. We believe whole-heartedly that children living free from violence represents our greatest hope for a violence-free future. Help us make this a reality.
- Last year, over 52 children and youth who had witnessed abuse or experienced high conflict during separation and divorce accessed individual counselling services.
- Over 65 children and youth were supported through groups and girls camps.
- At any given time, 5-12 children and youth are on a wait-list to receive counselling.
Sponsor a child for one counselling session for $30, three counselling sessions for $90, or an entire year for $300.